Also great is?


What do you make of the following sentence – to me, it seems that at least the word order is not “very English”:

Also great is the ‘Webhead’ session.

Thanks a lot,

TOEIC listening, photographs: A construction worker[YSaerTTEW443543]

This word order is perfect English.

Subject-verb inversion is used not only for questions, but also when a negative expression comes at the beginning of a sentence:

And also when certain types of information are moved from the predicate to the front of the sentence.

If you don’t believe me, open up Cambridge “Grammar in Use - Advanced” and do the two lessons on “Inversion”. I give these lessons to very advanced German speakers of English shortly after they arrive in the US. Their eyes bug out, and they tell me, “Writing like this is a sure way to fail an English test in Germany.”

Note that earlier in its history, English was a “verb second” language, just like German. It also had the same noun cases.

Torsten, here’s a music video, and you can hear this word order:

“Three o’clock in the morning, here am I.”

It sounds like Germlish, but it’s really English.

Hi Jamie,

Thanks a lot for that – what would be the difference between “Three o’clock in the morning, here am I.” and “Three o’clock in the morning, here I am”? To me, “… here I am” sounds as if it should be followed by something like “… here I am lonesome again.” Is that right?[YSaerTTEW443543]

TOEIC listening, photographs: A soccer match[YSaerTTEW443543]

Hi Torsten,

Just another thought on this. ‘Here am I’ is used with a sense of surprise and irony with the idea of:’ Just look at me!’

For example I could be explaining something to you about the German language and then I would realise that is a bit presumptuous on my part and I would say: ‘Here am I telling you something about your language!’


Generally, at least for Americans, there seems to be no difference between “here am I” and “here I am” when they’re some kind of exclamation. However, if someone asked you, “Where are you?” the answer would have to be, “Here I am.” “Here am I,” wouldn’t work in that situation.