Hello, Grammar Exchange members!

The following sentence is found in a PDF file from the Internet. (The address of the web page is https://jimwood8.files.wordpre...inversion-nov-22.pdf

1. Just as some children ignore their parents, so too do some parents ignore their children.

The first question I'd like to ask is whether or not the inversion in the main clause in (1) is optional.

I have one more sentence that makes me wonder. (source: Adaptive Education: An Inquiry-Based Institution by Robert VanWynsberghe, Andrew C. Herman, p.23)

2. Just as other living creatures thrive or perish depending on how well they adapt to the environment, so too do humans, although the consequences are not usually so dramatic.

In this case, I think the inversion in the main clause in (2) cannot be optional. Because if my friend says "I like baseball," I can say to that "So do I." As far as I know, "I do so" is not grammatical.

I'd like to hear your opinions.

Thanks in advance. 

 

 

Original Post

Hello KDog,

I think the inversion pattern is necessary here after so, nor or neither,  which is used to suggest the same, or a similar, situation.

It should help to know an optional inversion occurs after as or than, howeverExamples:

The cake was excellent, as was the coffee. (or ... as the coffee was.)
I believed, as did my colleagues, that the plan would work. (or ... as my colleagues did...)
Research shows that parents watch more television than do their children. (or ... than their children do.)

As a difference, the inversion form is more formal.

(I’m not a native English speaker but would like to try to share my opinions as a teacher of English in Hong Kong.)

@Kinto posted:

Hello KDog,

I think the inversion pattern is necessary here after so, nor or neither,  which is used to suggest the same, or a similar, situation.

Hello, Kinto. Thanks for sharing your view on this. I agree with you that inversion is necessary after so, nor or neither.

But while going deeper into that matter, I found the following sentence on page 941 of "A Comprehension Grammar of the English Language."

1. Just as they must put aside their prejudices, so we must be prepared to accept their good faith.

As you can see, the authors of the book use the correlatives just as...so in the sentence in which inversion doesn't occur. So I guess we can conclude that inversion can be optional in this case.

But I think the sentence #2 (Just as other living creatures thrive~) in my original post could be different.

What do you think?

Last edited by KDog
Hello KDog,
Yes, the "Just as...so" correlative conjunction pattern does make the case different, which I haven't given careful thought. 
I did some online searches and found the following on "The Free Dictionary":
 
We use just as … so to indicate that the two elements being joined are similar. Usually, just as begins an independent clause, and so is followed by a second independent clause. Traditionally, the clause after so should be inverted, as in:
  • Just as I love films, so does my brother love sports.”
  • Just as Americans love baseball, so do Europeans love soccer.”
  • Just as French is spoken in France, so is English spoken in England.”
However, it’s also common (especially in informal writing and speech) for this structure to occur without inversion, as in:
  • Just as I love films, so my brother loves sports.”
  • Just as Americans love baseball, so Europeans love soccer.”
  • Just as French is spoken in France, so English is spoken in England.”

 

So it seems to be optional and a matter of formality. And now I can confidently write your two sentences as:

1. Just as some children ignore their parents, so some parents ignore their children (too).

2. Just as other living creatures thrive or perish depending on how well they adapt to the environment, so humans do too, although the consequences are not usually so dramatic.

And I don't see a defining structural difference between (1) and (2), apart from the fact that (2) probably comes from a more formal context. In this case, I agree an inversion is more likely and far less optional for (2), considering formality, not grammatical reasons.

What's really different though is your conversation with your friend. "I like baseball," "So do I." It's not a "Just as...so" pattern here so it comes back to the "so, nor, neither" trio, where I believe an inversion is necessary.

@Kinto posted:
 

2. Just as other living creatures thrive or perish depending on how well they adapt to the environment, so humans do too, although the consequences are not usually so dramatic.

Hello, Kinto. Thanks for your reply. It was really helpful. I have one more thing I'd like to discuss with you.

Regarding the sentence #2 above, I've been still suspicious about whether it sounds natural or not. It would be funny for me to say if a sentence sounds natural since I'm not a native English speaker. But as you know grammar is a set of rules so what I'm discussing here is based on my logical guess.

1. Just as other living creatures thrive or perish depending on how well they adapt to the environment, so (too) do humans, although the consequences are not usually so dramatic.

In the bolded clause(so do humans) above, "do" refers to "thrive or perish depending on how well they adapt to the environment." And "so" means something like "also."

That's why I think that the structure of "so do humans" is exactly the same as "So do I." Like I said in my original post, if my friend says "I like baseball," I can respond to that like "So do I." Here "do" refers to "like baseball." And we know that we never say "I do so."

That's the reason I've concluded that in this case "so humans do" might not sound natural at all even though in general the clause after so in the correlatives just as...so can be inverted freely.

What do you think?

 

 

Last edited by KDog
@Kinto posted:

2. Just as other living creatures thrive or perish depending on how well they adapt to the environment, so humans do too, although the consequences are not usually so dramatic.

 

Hello KDog,

I see that your suspicion is justified, esp when each of all the three example sentences I provided from the Free Dictionary contains two different bits of content, of different objects or complements, unlike the case in this sentence #2 in question.

So like you, I’m looking forward to some native speaker member or moderator telling us whether the above quoted sentence is grammatical or natural, to reassure both you and me.

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