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  1. #1
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default question tags - rarely, seldom

    Do the two following sentences mean just the same or is there a difference between them?
    "He rarely dances, does he? - He dances rarely, doesn't he?"

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    The first sentence is fine, the second awkward; they mean the same.

  3. #3
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    Sometimes, the word rare can mean unusually excellent as in she is a rare example of womanhood. "He dances rarely," could mean he dances extremely well. I don't, however, think that many people would derive that meaning from this sentence.

    If you want to say he doesn't dance often, then you could say, "He rarely dances." If you want to say he dances extremely well, then say just that.

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Do the two following sentences mean just the same or is there a difference between them?
    "He rarely dances, does he? - He dances rarely, doesn't he?"
    I agree with Anglika. For the second sentence, more likely:
    He dances very well, doesn't he?
    ~R

  5. #5
    Lenka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    Thank you very much for your answers but to tell the truth, I don't understanfd it!

    Well, you say that the second sentence, i.e. He dances rarely, doesn't he?, means "He dances very well, doesn't he?", right? What does the first sentence mean, then? You said that the first and the second sentence have the same meaning and there is no difference between them (except for the fact no one would usually say the second sentence) which means that the first sentence (He rarely dances, does he?) is (as far as the meaning is concerned) equivalent to the second sentence, isn't? But I thought that the first sentence meant "He doesn't dance too often, does he?" or "He dances seldom, doesn't he?"... I am really confused now!

    How can the two sentences mean the same? Why does the first sentence contain the question tag "does he?", while the second one "doesn't he?" (or "does he not?")?

  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Do the two following sentences mean just the same or is there a difference between them?
    "He rarely dances, does he? - He dances rarely, doesn't he?"
    I see how what I said could have been confusing. What I would probably say instead of the second sentence:
    He doesn't dance very often, does he?
    As for:
    He rarely dances, does he?
    &
    He dances rarely, doesn't he?
    Neither of them seem natural to me. The second one is especially odd. What with having the adverb after the verb it seems to be a comment on the dancing itself instead of the frequency of the dancing.

    ~R

  7. #7
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Question tags

    A brief conversation.
    A: He doesn't dance very often, does he?

    B: No, he doesn't.

    A: And when he does he does it badly, doesn't he?

    B: He sure does.

    A: He sure isn't a very good dancer, is he?

    B: No, he isn't a very good dancer. That's for sure.

    A: He could use some dance lessons, couldn't he?

    B: He sure could.

    ~R

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default question tags

    A: That dog hasn't been housebroken yet, has she?
    B: No, she hasn't.
    ~R

  9. #9
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    A: It is an idiom, isn't it?
    B: Yes,it is an idiom.
    ~R

  10. #10
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: question tags - rarely, seldom

    A: You're having trouble with that, aren't you?

    B: Yes, I am.
    ~R

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