Tagged question and perfect tense

I’ve just passed one of numerous English grammar online tests. And I agree with all the mistakes I’ve made except this one: You ______ put it back before the boss comes back, won’t you? will have won’t have will have The system has marked my answer 3 as incorrect, and 1 as correct. And I’m … Read more

Punctuating question tags: A question mark is always required, isn’t it. (Well, isn’t it?)

Consider the sentence: You didn’t leave the dog in the car, did you? In spoken English, this statement may be given with a rising intonation or a falling one. If the former, it suggests that leaving the dog in the car is a bad thing, and might even suggest incredulity and consternation on the part … Read more

Future simple passive and phrases like “you do know that, don’t you?”

I’ve just written a question and only after I’d done that did I think about if it’s even correct: I hope all the scheduled payments will be sent this night, won’t be they? What confuses me is that all examples or real life usage were always “active”, and this is passive one so won’t be … Read more

Question tags — “did you” vs. “didn’t you”

Typically, when we ask for confirmation/denial of a statement, we say something like the following: We turn left here, don’t we? You have a cat, don’t you? We’ve met before, haven’t we? pairing a positive statement with a negative question, or We don’t need that, do we? You don’t know anything about this, do you? … Read more

“Haven’t you?” or “don’t you?”

What is the right question tag (in British English) when we use the verb have? I have interviewed a few native speakers and none of them could explain why sometimes they prefer “haven’t/hasn’t” and why other times they prefer “don’t/doesn’t”. Here are 4 different groups of sentences. Which ones are correct and which ones aren’t … Read more

“tag question” vs. “question tag”

I’ve just read this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tag_question So regarding this passage: The term “question tag” is generally preferred by British grammarians, while their American counterparts prefer “tag question”. If a British person uses the term “question tag”, does it refer to the American term “tag question”? Is this passage saying the terms are synonymous? As far … Read more

How to ask a question to confirm a negative situation?

For example, I want to make sure that Tom was not in Professor X’s class. However, I can’t ask: Wasn’t Tom in Professor X’s class last semester? Because that means I think Tom WAS in Professor X’s class. Of course I can say: Tom wasn’t in Professor X’s class, was he? But I would like … Read more