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  1. #1
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    Apr 2006
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    Default "inside" As Adverb And Question Tags

    Hi, how is it going? My first question is about "inside". I donīt know if itīs well-used in this sentence: "I want to see what is inside". For instance in a closed box. I know itīs right when I use the noun: "I want to see what is inside the closed box", but without the name, is it correct?. Itīs supposed I used "closed box" in a sentence before. On the other hand, I always hesitate if i need a subject before the verb, "to be" in this case. "I want to see what "it" is inside". Is it right?. I am afraid I donīt need it. If i use "it", it would be incorrect, not?. I am thinking about a similar sentence now: "I donīt know what is going on". Thereīs no "it" before "is", and it is right, not?. I canīt imagine "I donīt know what "it" is going on". In this kind of sentences, donīt we need to put a subject in the subordinate clause? Why?
    About question tags. Imagine this sentence, "You are telling lies". At first, I thought of "Isnīt it true" in order to say that someone is really telling lies, but then I realized I could use a question tag. "You are telling lies, are you not?". Can I use both? I mean "Isnīt it true" and "Are you not?". Does it mean the same thing?.

    Thanks a million for replying me last time!
    Learning English is really wonderful!

    Jesús

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Default Re: "inside" As Adverb And Question Tags

    [1] I want to see what is inside. <correct>
    => "inside" is a preposition, and its object "in the box" has been omitted for the sake of efficiency.

    [2] I want to see what it is inside. <incorrect>
    => "what" is the subject of the verb "is". Adding another subject ("it") makes the sentence ungrammatical.

    [3] I donīt know what is going on.
    => "what" is the subject. "what" replaces a noun, like this,

    An apple was in the box.
    I didn't know an apple was in the box.
    I didn't know what was in the box.

    [4] I donīt know what "it" is going on".
    => "what" is the subject. Every verb should have one subject only, not two.

    [5] You are telling lies, are you not?
    OR
    [5] You are telling lies, aren't you? <that one is a contraction>

    [6] Isn't it true that you're telling lies?
    [7] You are telling lies. Isn't that true?

    [8] You are telling lies, isn't that true?
    => "isn't is true" is a sentence, not a phrase, so it can't function as a tag.

    All the best.

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