Emphatic Negative Constructions

Inversion as a Means of Emphasis.

Emphatic Constructions

Foregrounding of Adverbial Verbs


The so-called adverbial verbs, that is, verbs containing two semes, one expressing action and the other describing the character of that action, are often used for stylistic purposes in the same way as causative verbs. Such use can be traced far back even to Shakespeare.

She splashed the four chipped cups down on a table by the door.


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In this case the verb to splash down contains three semes: the action itself, its character and its result.



Emotive colouring and expressiveness of speech may be achieved by various emphatic means both grammatical and lexical. Expressiveness and emotive colouring should not be confused. The former is a wider notion than the latter. Emphatic means are used even in those styles of language which lack emotive colouring, viz. the style of scientific prose and official style. Emphatic models give prominence either to one element of the utterance or make the whole utterance forceful and expressive.

Emphatic means of the English language present great variety and bear a distinct national character. Some emphatic models in English and in Ukrainiancoincide but there are considerable differences. Even coincidences are often partial or seeming. Therefore rendering of emphasis in translation is not a simple task.



The emphatic role of inversion is a well-known fact, and need not be considered here. It is only to be mentioned that the stylistic function of inversion is frequently rendered lexically.

Up goes unemployment, up go prices, and down tumbles the labour vote.

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Emphatic Use of the Asas Model. The model asas expressing the same degree of quality may be used emphatically not in its direct function but to express the superlative degree. In this case it is as a rule combined with the pronouns any, anything, anybody. The translations of this model require lexical compensation.

As he has since admitted, he admires Rosamund Darnley as much as any woman he had ever met. (Agatha Christie)

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Negative constructions are more expressive than affirmative ones and possess a stronger emotive colouring.This is due to the fact that the category of negation indicates that the link between the negation indicates that the link between the notions expressed by the subject and the predicate is non-existant.

The negative word no is a powerful means of stressing the some member of the sentence.

Our arrangement was no announcement for few days. (A.Halley)

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The emphatic use of the colon in the translation attracts attention to what follows. Emphasis is also created by ellipsis.



  1. Exercise 1. Translate the following sentences paying attention to Participle Constructions in different syntactic functions.
  2. Negative Space

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