Thursday, November 5, 2009

Formation of Question Tags in English

Dear Readers,

I have been discussing different aspects of question tags in my previous posts . In this post I would like to discuss the structure of question tags which is the despair of ESL learners !

Basically an English question tag consists of an operator followed by the relevant pronoun of the subject of the statement to which it is attached .

The operator may be an auxiliary verb , a dummy auxiliary verb or some form of the verb be.

While in other languages like the languages of India or French the question tag is a set phrase or a single unchanging word , the English question tag keeps changing its form according to the subject of the statement , the tense of the verb and the positive or negative character of the statement it is attached to . This is because the English conceive of their question tag as the interrogative version of the statement , cut short after the pronoun-subject .

It is quite natural that non-native users of English find English question highly devious and cumbersome ; and they are more comfortable with the honest "isn't it?"" for all kinds of statements!

I will continue the discussion in my next post.

Thank you for visiting!

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