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March 29, 2017

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Is it disallowed or simply awkward to write in the order SUBJECT VERB, as in "Try I did, but to no avail"?

Also, I can't figure out what role 'did' plays in this sentence but I'm quite sure it's necessary.
Is it there only to assert the past tense?

(I'm writing an essay and wondered if a bit of artistic license such as that is permissible.)

  • Grammar - ,

    You would have to wait for someone else to answer this, but my guess would be that the did is there to emphasize the try. As to if this allowed in essays? I'm not sure, my guess would be no, but maybe I'm wrong. In poerty this would be acceptable:)...also is this an example, or somethng you wanted to put in your essay. Essays shouldn't have first person in them (I, or personal words).

  • Grammar - ,

    It's a personal narrative, actually; I shouldn't have called it an essay. It isn't meant to be overly formal so I'm allowing myself a bit of looseness but not all-out incorrectness in grammar, if you see what I mean.

  • Grammar - ,

    mhmh well I would say yes then, because to me it makes me think about your writing and why you write that way. Which, in my opinion is one thing that you want the marker of this narrative to catch on to. I would ask your prof. or teacher if you have a chance before handing in, but, otherwise, I can't imagine it a problem.

  • english - ,

    i don't get this and i am in 6th grade

  • Grammar - ,

    Speak into dark voids did I,
    Floundering along steps did she,
    Until on the bridge met we.
    Kissed and then parted, never
    we to see again.

    Awkward? Yep. Permissible? Yes
    But, purple face painting is also permissible sometimes...

    Any odd usage in writing must serve a purpose, and your readers must feel comfortable with it. Otherwise, you might as well write in unknown tounges.

  • Grammar - ,

    "Try I did, but to no avail" is a stylistic way of expressing yourself. It is correct, and if you like it, by all means include it in your narrative. It emphasizes the very "try."

    Did is a helping verb. You've simply turned around the first clause -- "I did try" to make it "Try I did."

  • Grammar - ,

    Thanks, all.

    Ms. Sue: Is "I did try" any different from "I tried"? It seems to insist that I /did/ try, rather than inform that I tried with no especial emphasis, but is it gramatically different?

  • Grammar - ,

    (I have no formal education on the subject but have recently begun studying linguistics and can't help wondering why I do certain things in language and whether they're incorrect/awkward/perfectly fine).

  • Grammar - ,

    "I did try" emphasizes the phrase and makes the "try" seem more important than the prosaic "I tried." Both are grammatically correct.

    Congratulations on studying linguistics. Some of what we say and write is more regional and national custom than having any specific correctness. The English, for example, say, "My friend is in hospital," while Americans say, "My friend is in the hospital." I work with an ESL student and researched how to teach her when to use the articles, "an, a, the." I never found a good answer. Nor can I explain why we say "the Revolutionary War," "the Civil War," "the Second World War," but -- "World War II" -- without an article.

  • Grammar - ,

    True, and that's why people learning foreign languages, especially without practising it as it's actually used by living in a region that speaks the language, may never reach the fluency a native speaker has. It almost discourages me from learning them. :P

    Thanks for all the help.

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