Monday, January 19, 2009

Lesson 27: Tag Questions or Reiterative Formulas and the Use of Pronouns

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What are Tag Questions?

These are questions attached to declarative statements to expand the thought being said. Tag questions are used to transform a declarative statement into a question. Such questions use pronouns.












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2 Rules guide us in using tag questions:
















Examples:


1.) The baby girl cries for milk, doesn't she?

  • The tag question doesn't she is used because the subject baby girl is singular and the verb cries is in the present tense.
  • The pronoun she is used because baby girl is feminine in gender. Also, you are talking about the baby girl. Therefore you use 'she'.
  • The tag question is negative because the statement part is positive.


2.) The festivals don't attract many tourists, do they?

  • The tag question do they is used because the subject festivals is plural and the verb do attract is in the present tense.
  • The pronoun they is used because the subject 'the festivals' is plural. Also, you are talking about them (the festivals), therefore you use 'they'.
  • The tag question is positive because the statement part is negative (due to the presence of not).


3.) The boys climbed the mountains, didn't they?

  • The tag question didn't they is used because the subject the boys is plural and the verb climbed is in the past tense.
  • The pronoun they is used because the subject 'the boys' is plural. Also, you are talking about them (the boys), therefore you use 'they'.
  • The tag question is negative ('not' is added) because the statement part is positive.


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Review: Helping verbs - is, are, was, were, has, have, will, should, would, could




Examples:



1.) The girls aren't prepared to go, are they?

  • You notice that the helping verb are is used in the statement. Therefore we still use are in the tag question, taking off not to make it positive.
  • Since the statement is negative (due to to the presence of not), therefore the tag question is positive (we remove 'not').
  • The pronoun they is used because the subject 'the girls' is plural. Also, you are talking about them (the girls), therefore you use 'they'.


2.) Justin and I have gathered stones on the shore, haven't we?

  • You notice that the helping verb have is used in the statement. Therefore we still use have in the tag question, adding not to make it negative.
  • Since the statement is positive, therefore the tag question is negative. (we add not to 'have')
  • The pronoun we is used because the subject 'Justin and I' is plural. Also, you are talking about yourself and Justin, therefore you use 'we'.


3.) You should do the work, shouldn't you?

  • You notice that the helping verb should is used in the statement. Therefore we still use should in the tag question, adding not to make it negative.
  • Since the statement is positive, therefore the tag question is negative. (we add not to 'should')
  • The pronoun you is used because the subject 'You' is plural. Also, you are talking about the other person, therefore you use 'you'.


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Exercise:


Add an appropriate tag question to each of the following sentences:


1.) The book is not wonderful, __________?

2.) You are very kind, __________?

3.) We don't want to dance, __________?

4.) My friends are not asking me something, __________?

5.) My parents prepared a very delicious food, __________?

6.) I could do that, __________?

7.) You weren't here yesterday, __________?

8.) I was here yesterday, __________?




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~end of lesson~

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