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Thread: Aren't I?

  1. #1
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    Default Aren't I?

    I believe the following is grammatically incorrect because the verb and subject don't agree. Yet it sounds okay. Is it incorrect or is there some exception for this usage?

    "I am happy, aren't I?"

    Should it be:

    "I am happy, am I not?"

    I was doing a question tag exercise in class, changing statements into questions and this came up. Please help.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    They're both correct- 'aren't I' is used to overcome the pronunciation difficulties 'amn't I' would present.

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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    I disagree that they are both correct. I do not wish to be dogmatic about it, but I would not want to hear anybody say, "I am happy, aren't I?" Yuk! :(

    It would make me unhappy to hear "I am happy, aren't I?" :(

    (Why anybody would ask somebody else if they are happy or not is perhaps another question.) It does seem an unlikely sentence tag in any case. More probable would be: "You are happy, aren't you?"

    What does everybody think? Are you happy with that? :)

    8)

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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    I'm not at all happy with it!

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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lib
    I'm not at all happy with it!
    Lib, where ar you from? In BE, we use it quite happily, although some stick with 'am I not'. I like having the two because 'am I not' sounds more emphatic.

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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    I meant I am not at all happy with what Ronbee said. I would always say: I'm happy, aren't I? Maybe Ronbee didn't like the idea of looking for confirmation of one's own happiness. However, the sentence is grammatically correct.

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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    Is not!


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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lib
    I meant I am not at all happy with what Ronbee said. I would always say: I'm happy, aren't I? Maybe Ronbee didn't like the idea of looking for confirmation of one's own happiness. However, the sentence is grammatically correct.
    I have to say that it sounds okay to my ears. :wink:
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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lib
    I meant I am not at all happy with what Ronbee said. I would always say: I'm happy, aren't I? Maybe Ronbee didn't like the idea of looking for confirmation of one's own happiness. However, the sentence is grammatically correct.
    I see now. :P

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    Default Re: Aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lib
    I meant I am not at all happy with what Ronbee said. I would always say: I'm happy, aren't I? Maybe Ronbee didn't like the idea of looking for confirmation of one's own happiness.
    Not exactly. It just doesn't seem to me like something somebody would say. "I am happy" is fine. "I am happy, am I?" seems odd.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lib
    However, the sentence is grammatically correct.
    I don't see how "Are I" or "I are" can be grammatically correct. What am I missing? (Ain't I makes more sense, IMO, than aren't I.

    8)

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