mercredi 17 décembre 2014

Top Tips Grammar: Question tags - uses

Main points

*You can use negative statements with positive questions tags to make request.
*You use positive statements with positive questions tags to show reactions.
*You use some questions tags to make imperatives more polite.

 

a) You can use a negative statement and a positive question tag to ask people for things, or to ask for help or information.

- You wouldn’t sell it to me, would you?
- You won’t tell anyone else this, will you?

 

b) When you want to show your reaction to what someone has just said, for example by expressing interest, surprise, doubt, or anger, you use a positive statement with a positive question tag.

- You’ve been to North America before, have you?
- You fell on you back, did you?
- I borrowed your car last night. – Oh, you did, did you?

 

c) When you use an imperative, you can be more polite by adding one of the following question tags.

will you won't you would you

- See that she gets safely back, won’t you?
- Look at that, would you?

When you use a negative imperative, you can only use ‘will you’ as a question tag.

- Don’t tell Eduardo, will you?

‘Will you’ and ‘won’t you’ can also be used to emphasize anger or impatience. ‘Can’t you’ is also used in this way.

- Oh, hurry up, will you!
- For goodness sake be quite, can’t you!

 

d) You use the question tag ‘shall we’ when you make a suggestion using ‘let’s’.

- Let’s forget it, shall we?

You use the question tag ‘shall I’ after ‘I’ll’.

- I’ll tell you, shall I?

 

e) You use ‘they’ in question tags after ‘anybody’, ‘anyone’, ‘everybody’, ‘everyone’, ‘nobody’, ‘no one’, ‘somebody’, or ‘someone’.

- Everyone will be leaving on Friday, won’t they?
- Nobody had bothered to plant new ones, had they?

You use ‘it’ in question tags after ‘anything’, ‘everything’, ‘nothing’, or ‘something’.

- Nothing matter now, does it?
- Something should be done, shouldn’t it?

You use ‘there’ in question tags after ‘there is’, ‘there are’, ‘there was’, or ‘there were’.

- There’s a new course out now, isn’t there?

 

f) When you are replying to a question tag, your answer refers to the statement, not the question tag.

If you want to confirm a positive statement, you say ‘yes’. For example, if you have finished a piece of work and someone says to you ‘you’ve finished that, haven’t you?’ the answer is ‘yes’.

- ‘It became stronger, didn’t it?’ – ‘Yes, it did’.

If you want to disagree with a positive statement, you say ‘no’. For example, if you have not finished your work and someone says ‘You’ve finished that, haven’t you?’ the answer is ‘no’.

- You’ve just seen a performance of the play, haven’t you? – No, not yet.

If you want to confirm a negative statement, you say ‘no’. For example, if you have not finished your work and someone says ‘You haven’t finished that, have you?’ the answer is ‘no’.

- ‘You didn’t know that, did you?’ – ‘No’.

If you want to disagree with a negative statement, you say ‘yes’. For example, if you have finished a piece of work and someone says ‘you haven’t finished that, have you?’ the answer is ‘yes’.

- ‘You haven’t been there, have you?’ – ‘Yes, I have’.

 

 

 

 

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Top Tips Abz Ingles: Part A    -    Part B
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See also:

Words related to Failure to Cooperate Irregular Verbs list
Common Phrasal Verbs Common Slangs
Common misspellings Regular vs Irregular Verbs
Common Errors Frequently confused words
Common Slangs Lista de Términos Gramaticales
Common Clichés Common Prepositions

 

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