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Tag Questions

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You speak English, don't you? A tag question is a special construction in English. It ...

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    Tag Questions

    You speak English, don't you?

    A tag question is a special construction in English. It is a statement followed by a mini-question. The whole sentence is a "tag question", and the mini-question at the end is called a "question tag".

    We use tag questions at the end of statements to ask for confirmation. They mean something like: "Am I right?" or "Do you agree?" They are very common in English.

    The basic structure is:

    Look at these examples with positive statements:

    Look at these examples with negative statements:

    Some special cases:

    Here are some mixed examples:

    * But you don't really love her, do you?
    * This will work, won't it?
    * Well, I couldn't help it, could I?
    * But you'll tell me if she calls, won't you?
    * We'd never have known, would we?
    * The weather's bad, isn't it?
    * You won't be late, will you?
    * Nobody knows, do they?

    Notice that we often use tag questions to ask for information or help, starting with a negative statement. This is quite a friendly/polite way of making a request. For example, instead of saying "Where is the police station?" (not very polite), or "Do you know where the police station is?" (slightly more polite), we could say: "You wouldn't know where the police station is, would you?" Here are some more examples:

    * You don't know of any good jobs, do you?
    * You couldn't help me with my homework, could you?
    * You haven't got $10 to lend me, have you?


    We can change the meaning of a tag question with the musical pitch of our voice. With rising intonation, it sounds like a real question. But if our intonation falls, it sounds more like a statement that doesn't require a real answer:

    Answers to tag questions


    How do we answer a tag question? Often, we just say Yes or No. Sometimes we may repeat the tag and reverse it (..., do they? Yes, they do). Be very careful about answering tag questions. In some languages, an oposite system of answering is used, and non-native English speakers sometimes answer in the wrong way. This can lead to a lot of confusion!


    For example,
    everyone knows that snow is white. Look at these questions, and the correct answers:

    In some languages, people answer a question like "Snow isn't black, is it?" with "Yes" (meaning "Yes, I agree with you"). This is the wrong answer in English!

    Here are some more examples
    , with correct answers:

    * The moon goes round the earth, doesn't it? Yes, it does.
    * The earth is bigger than the moon, isn't it? Yes.
    * The earth is bigger than the sun, isn't it? No, it isn't!
    * Asian people don't like rice, do they? Yes, they do!
    * Elephants live in Europe, don't they? No, they don't!
    * Men don't have babies, do they? No.
    * The English alphabet doesn't have 40 letters, does it? No, it doesn't.

    Question tags with imperatives

    Sometimes we use question tags with imperatives (invitations, orders), but the sentence remains an imperative and does not require a direct answer. We use won't for invitations. We use can, can't, will, would for orders.

    Same-way question tags

    Although the basic structure of tag questions is positive-negative or negative-positive, it is sometime possible to use a positive-positive or negative-negative structure. We use same-way question tags to express interest, surprise, anger etc, and not to make real questions.

    * So you're having a baby, are you? That's wonderful!
    * She wants to marry him, does she? Some chance!
    * So you think that's amusing, do you? Think again.

    Negative-negative tag questions usually sound rather hostile:

    * So you don't like my looks, don't you?

    # Basic Question Types
    # Basic Question Structure
    Son düzenleyen Fırat, 02-03-2011 saat 00:22.
    My wound neither bleeds, nor heals..The gone forgets, the one behind always hurts...I can't escape, your smell is everywhere..

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