Help: the usage of "Only can..."


I just wonder if I can make inverted sentence like this:

Only can thought be capital.

Normally, it should be “Only thought can be capital”. Please help me!


No, because 'only ’ modifies ‘thought’ here. The sentence does not make any sense to me, which makes it harder to evaluate, however. Why can’t posters come up with reasonable examples, like ‘Only beans make good soup’?

Thank you moderator, for your clear explication!

I now understand the using method of this kind of inverted sentence.
Only here can I find the right answer! :wink:


When adverbs are put in the front of a sentence, it’s generally the negative ones that cause inversion. So, words like never, nowhere, hardly, barely and others that have a negative feel to them will cause inversion. Only is not negative enough for inversion to occur.

I see. Thank you Jamie!

However, beginning a sentence with expressions such as ‘only if’, ‘only when’, ‘only after’, etc. will result in inversion in the main clause:

  • Only if you are a registered member can you post in that forum.
    [size=84](Compare: You can post in that forum only if you are a registered member.)[/size]

  • Only after being threatened with legal action did he agree to pay us back.
    [size=84](Compare: He agreed to pay us back only after being threatened with legal action.)[/size]

Thank you for your warm-hearted help! I believe I can use it correctly now. Only after being given so much advices can I grasp this kind of usage.

“Advice” is uncountable in English.