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Question tags (special cases)
1 Question tags are commonly used to ask for agreement or confirmation : after an affirmative sentence , a negative interrogative sentence is used and the other way round .
+ /- -/+
2 Sentences containing neither, nor , nobody, none , nothing , are considered negative.
Nobody went to the concert, did they?
Sentences containing adverbs like scarcely, hardly, seldom, hardly ever, are considered negative.
You seldom go to parties, do you?
She hardly said a word, did she ?
3 We can use an affirmative question tag with an affirmative sentence and with a falling intonation. We use these same-way question tags when we are just repeating what somebody ( even the speaker him/herself ) said.
In this way, we are not asking a question or looking for confirmation, but we are simply repeating the idea to express wonder, interest, surprise, concern. Those tags are synonyms of “really” or “indeed” .
The tone of the voice can make a great difference, conveying feelings of surprise, pleasure, incredulity, wonder , etc.
Ken: I'm divorcing my wife . >> Jennifer: Are You ?
You called Peter, did you ?
A same-way question tag is used as an answer to an affirmative or negative statement.
Lynn:I didn't call Marion. >> Bob: Didn't you ?
4 Question tags can also be used with imperatives , in this case ,we use “will you “ ( which sounds rather rude ), or “won't you” ( much more polite ).
With “let's “ , the question tag is “shall we”.
In colloquial speech the question tag for “ I am” is usually “ Aren't I” or “Ain't I”.
Shut up, will you ?
Make yourself comfortable, won't you ?
Let's play now, shall we?
English exercise "Question tags" created by carlabice47 with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from carlabice47]
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