________ his patient would come back alive.

a. Little did the doctor think that
b. The doctor little thought that

Are they both correct?

Thanks!
Original Post
The correct completion is a.

"Little" used adverbially at the beginning of a sentence causes inversion of the subject and verb. It's like "Never have I seen a more beautiful view" or "Rarely do we have an opportunity like this."

"Little did someone know" is a fixed phrase. Here's the definition and an example from the LDOCE, at the entry for "little" as an adverb.

little did somebody know/realize/think etc used to say that someone did not know or Little did I know that the course of my life was about to change.

Rachel
I'm don't know why this construction exists, but it does. "Never, rarely, hardly," and other negative or near-negative adverbials at the beginning of a sentence cause an inversion of the subject and verb in the main clause of the sentence.

It's a rather formal construction. As you know, when these words are not at the beginning of the sentence, they do not cause inversion.

Rachel

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