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Thread: Tag Questions

  1. #1
    priyaradha is offline Newbie
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    Question Tag Questions

    Please clarify these queries.
    Which usage is correct - ain't I or aren't I?

    I am a scientist,________________________
    A) ain't I ?
    B) am I not?
    C) aren't I?
    D) weren't I?

    Is 'Shall we?' the right question tag?
    Let's decline the invitation _____________________________
    A) should we?
    B) shall we?
    C) will we?
    D) won't we?

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by priyaradha View Post
    Please clarify these queries.
    Which usage is correct - ain't I or aren't I?

    I am a scientist,_am I not/aren't I?_______________________
    A) ain't I ?
    B) am I not?
    C) aren't I?
    D) weren't I?

    Is 'Shall we?' the right question tag?
    Let's decline the invitation ____shall we?_________________________
    A) should we?
    B) shall we?
    C) will we?
    D) won't we?
    .

  3. #3
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by priyaradha View Post
    Please clarify these queries.
    Which usage is correct - ain't I or aren't I?

    I am a scientist,________________________
    A) ain't I ?
    B) am I not?
    C) aren't I?
    D) weren't I?
    As a general rule, you should never find that "ain't" is given as the correct answer to any question!

  4. #4
    TheParser is online now Key Member
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by priyaradha View Post
    Please clarify these queries.
    Which usage is correct - ain't I or aren't I?

    I am a scientist,________________________
    A) ain't I ?
    B) am I not?
    C) aren't I?
    D) weren't I?

    Is 'Shall we?' the right question tag?
    Let's decline the invitation _____________________________
    A) should we?
    B) shall we?
    C) will we?
    D) won't we?
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Priyaradha.

    If you must choose only one answer, then I guess it would

    be am I not. Everyone agrees that this is correct English.

    In real life, however, most native speakers would probably

    say aren't I because it takes too long to say am I not, and

    because it sounds so formal. Most teachers would tell you

    to avoid ain't because many (not all!!!) people use ain't only

    when they want to be humorous or funny.

    Thank you




  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Priyaradha.

    If you must choose only one answer, then I guess it would

    be am I not. Everyone agrees that this is correct English.

    In real life, however, most native speakers would probably

    say aren't I because it takes too long to say am I not, and

    because it sounds so formal. Most teachers would tell you

    to avoid ain't because many (not all!!!) people use ain't only

    when they want to be humorous or funny.

    Thank you


    I'm afraid I have to disagree. I have seen your recent comments about the use of contractions so I can see why you would not automatically choose "aren't I?", but these days, contractions are taught as an integral part of English.

    The two academies I have worked for in Spain (as well as the biggest and most respected English teaching system in Spain) insist that when a student constructs a sentence, they use contractions wherever possible.

    Teacher: Where have you been on holiday?
    Student: I have been to Italy.
    Teacher: Good, but instead of "I have", what could you say?
    Student: Ah yes, of course. I've been to Italy.
    Teacher: Great. OK, next question!

    I don't think we use "aren't I" instead of "am I not" because it's faster, just because it's now natural, regular English.

    I also don't think "ain't" is used to be humorous/funny. I personally agree that it's poor English and I don't use it, but it's not used for amusement value, it's simply how some people choose to speak.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'm afraid I have to disagree. I have seen your recent comments about the use of contractions so I can see why you would not automatically choose "aren't I?", but these days, contractions are taught as an integral part of English.

    The two academies I have worked for in Spain (as well as the biggest and most respected English teaching system in Spain) insist that when a student constructs a sentence, they use contractions wherever possible.

    Teacher: Where have you been on holiday?
    Student: I have been to Italy.
    Teacher: Good, but instead of "I have", what could you say?
    Student: Ah yes, of course. I've been to Italy.
    Teacher: Great. OK, next question!
    This refers to spoken English, and we naturally contract words when we speak, sometimes it would sound quite strange and formal if we didn't. However, I think it is wrong to teach learners to write with contractions "whenever possible".

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    This refers to spoken English, and we naturally contract words when we speak, sometimes it would sound quite strange and formal if we didn't. However, I think it is wrong to teach learners to write with contractions "whenever possible".
    Yes, I should have been clearer. They're encouraged to use the contractions as often as possible when speaking, and when it's appropriate when writing. They have to know, of course, that it's not appropriate when writing a business letter or email, but in their general compositions, they're expected to use them.

  8. #8
    rx-f is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I also don't think "ain't" is used to be humorous/funny. I personally agree that it's poor English and I don't use it, but it's not used for amusement value, it's simply how some people choose to speak.
    Just out of curiosity, I looked up "ain't" in the Online Etymology Dictionary. Here's the entry:

    "1706, originally a contraction of am not, and in proper use with that sense until it began to be used as a generic contraction for are not, is not, etc., in early 19c. Cockney dialect of London, popularized by representations of this in Dickens, etc., which led to the word being banished from correct English."

    With or without that reference, "ain't" is not poor English. On the contrary, it seems to be used not uncommonly in certain dialects of AmE. Is is informal, however, and wouldn't be used in written English unless you were writing in the dialect in question.

  9. #9
    priyaradha is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Tag Questions

    Dear All,
    Thanks for your quick responses. Learnt quite a lot. Glad to see so many perspectives on a single point.

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