Forming negative constructions with not only, not once, no sooner, etc.
English grammar (See all our English grammar tips)
Forming negative constructions with NOT ONLY, NOT ONCE, NO SOONER, etc.Sometimes a negative expression (not only... but, not once, no sooner... than...) is placed at the beginning of the sentence to emphasize negation. In such cases, the verb is inverted in the same way as in questions:
Not only is Bruno an excellent businessman, but he's also an expert perfumer. Bruno is an excellent businessman and also an expert perfumer.
Not once did I hear her say 'thank you'. I did not hear her say 'thank you' at all.
No sooner had we sat down to eat than the phone rang. We had only just sat down to eat and then the phone rang.
Little does he know of the surprises which await him. He knows very little about the surprises which are waiting for him.
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