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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > question tag     

question tag



KHAWLA ALZIOD
Jordan

question tag
 
question tag 
 
Hello everyone ,
I would be grateful if any one helped me in completing the following sentences with suitable question tags .

1.You might leave early,--------------------------?
2.Jason may use his mobile phone at class ,----------------------------?
3.I don ´t think that the man was accused of the theft wrongly,--------------------------?

According to the last one there are two suggested answers ,but I want to check the correct answer.Is it      do I?            OR    wasn ´t he ?  
thanks .

please  I need more replies


17 Apr 2012      



Nicola5052
United Kingdom

Hi

1  You might leave early, mightn ´t you? 

2  No question tag sounds right to me although ´mightn ´t he ´ would probably be the best. (It should be ´in ´ class.)

3  Neither of those suggested are correct - I don ´t think that the man was accused of the theft wrongly, was he?


17 Apr 2012     



amiri12
Tunisia

You can use ´might ´, ´mightn ´t ´, ´may ´ and ´mayn ´t ´ in question tags  

17 Apr 2012     



vincenza
Italy

HI, my penny ´s worth is that for number 2 you would probably use "may he not?"  As for the other two, I agree with  "Nicola5052".  Best of luck!

17 Apr 2012     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Dear KHAWLA ALZIOD,
 
Hello everyone ,
I would be grateful if any one helped me in completing the following sentences with suitable question tags .

1.You might leave early,--------------------------?
2.Jason may use his mobile phone at class ,----------------------------?
3.I don ´t think that the man was accused of the theft wrongly,----------------------?

According to the last one there are two suggested answers ,but I want to check the correct answer.Is it      do I?            OR    wasn ´t he ?

 
I realise that several Members may jump in and say, "Les, you are terribly FORMAL".  However, I am answering the question that was asked.  I have no problems with the following sentences, formed within the confines of the Member ´s question.  Others may say otherwise, but I do not find them ´formal ´.  My colleagues in College use similar constructions frequently, especially in the formal classroom setting.
 
1) "You MIGHT leave early, MIGHTN ´T you?" = "There is the possibilty that you might leave early, is that not so?  I am asking you to confirm this (or not) because I wish to have my information correct".
 
2) "Jason MAY use his mobile phone at class, MAYN ´T he?" = "I am asking you to confirm (or not) that Jason is permitted to operate his mobile phone in class, and that there is no School Rule which forbids this".   (To be grammatically accurate, the original should be "in class").
 
3) "I DON´T think that the man was accused of the theft wrongly, DO I?" = "I am asking myself a question.  Originally, I thought that the man was guilty of the theft, so I thought that he was correctly accused.  But now I have doubts --- perhaps he was wrongly accused.  Do I believe that he was accused correctly, or do I believe that he was he accused wrongly?  Well, DO I?  Perhaps I have made a mistake".
 
Another situation could be where the questioner wishes a friend to confirm that what the questioner is saying, is true.  "Please, tell everyone!  I DON´T think that the man was accused of the theft wrongly, DO I?  Tell them!"
 
However, if we concentrate our thoughts on the verb "To be" --- "was accused", we can ask the question: "Was he accused wrongly, or wasn ´t he accused wrongly?" (which means: "Was he accused correctly?").
In this situation, the questioner would say:  "I don ´t think that the man WAS accused of the theft wrongly, WAS he?  Will someone agree with me, please?"
 
In this situation, the tag question is "Was he?"
 
Consequently, the tag question "Wasn ´t he" is NOT correct.
 
Les
 
 
 

17 Apr 2012     



cunliffe
United Kingdom

Oh dear, I ´m not keen on ´mayn ´t he? ´ It might be correct, but I think what anyone would say is, ´Jason may use his phone in class, isn ´t that right? ´ In fact, really an ordinary person (sorry Les! I ´m sure you are quite extraordinary!) would say, ´Jason can use his phone in class, can ´t he? ´ I think you would be being slightly snooty and ironic, if you said, ´Jason may........, may he not? ´


17 Apr 2012     



ldthemagicman
United Kingdom

Dear Cunliffe,

 
There are several difficulties in answering questions on ESLP.

One is that the Member submitting the question frequently doesn’t give sufficient information.
“Can you tell me a good lesson for my students?”
“What type of lesson --- Reading? Writing?  What type of students? --- Children? Adults?”

A second point is that the Member doesn’t specify why he/she needs the answer.
“Here is a question and I have two answers to the question: ‘A’ and ‘B’.  Which is correct?”  (“I could also tell you that I need the answer because: A student asked me/I am writing an exam paper and want to include this question/It is a question which I must answer for my Master’s Degree/etc.”)

A third point is that many Members ask for the ‘correct’ answer to a question which has no ‘correct’ answer.
“When I speak English, what is the best accent to use?”
“It depends!”

When I, (ldthemagicman), answer a Forum question, I try to answer the question that is asked, not a different question!

K.A. requested:
“… helped me in completing the following sentences with suitable
question tags”.

Cunliffe, somewhat like you, in normal circumstances, I would probably say: “Is it alright for Jason to use his mobile in class?”
However, (unless I am mistaken), K.A. did not ask for help in altering the form of the question.  As his/her request above shows, s/he asked for help in completing the question with a suitable question tag.
If K.A is answering an exam question and, (instead of completing the sentence with a suitable question tag), alters the words of the Examiner and substitutes others, this is equivalent to writing: “Dear Examiner, I don’t like what you have written.  Here is what you should have written!”

You also say: “It might be correct, but … …”
Sadly for those individuals, I think that many ESLP Members are often obliged to produce a technically ‘correct answer’ to an exam question, rather than an informal, colloquial answer which would actually be given in a real-life conversation.

Finally, here is what the authors of, “A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language”, page 811, write regarding “Tag Questions --- may.

“The negative Tag Question following a positive statement with modal auxiliary may poses a problem because the abbreviated form mayn’t is rare (virtually not found in American English).  There is no obvious solution for the Tag Question , though some speakers will substitute mightn’t or can’t, or – when the reference is future – won’t.

1a) I may inspect the books, mightn’t I?  (Native speakers are unsure about the acceptability of this.)
1b) I may inspect the books, can’t I?  (Native speakers are unsure about the acceptability of this.)
2a) They may be here next week, mightn’t they?  (Native speakers are unsure about the acceptability of this.)
2b) They may be here next week, won’t they?  (Native speakers are unsure about the acceptability of this.)

The unabbreviated form is fully acceptable, but limited to formal use.
1c) I may inspect the books, may I not?
2c) They may be here next week, may they not?

Best Wishes.
 
Les

17 Apr 2012