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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    causatives in tag-questions

    how should I say?

    They had their house painted, hadn't they?
    or
    They had their house painted, didn't they?

    had is in the past tense , so it would be correct to use didn't in the tag but the answer in my book is hadn't
    if the construction were in the negative they didn't have their house painted, did they? that would be the answer so, why does the book give me the "hadn't" tag for the affirmative?

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: causatives in tag-questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cami30 View Post
    how should I say?

    They had their house painted, hadn't they?
    or
    They had their house painted, didn't they?

    had is in the past tense , so it would be correct to use didn't in the tag but the answer in my book is hadn't
    if the construction were in the negative they didn't have their house painted, did they? that would be the answer so, why does the book give me the "hadn't" tag for the affirmative?
    I have no idea why your book would give you that answer! In my opinion:

    They had their house painted, didn't they?
    They have had their house painted, haven't they?
    They had had their house painted, hadn't they?

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: causatives in tag-questions

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I have no idea why your book would give you that answer! In my opinion:

    They had their house painted, didn't they?
    They have had their house painted, haven't they?
    They had had their house painted, hadn't they?
    Absolutely!

  4. kfredson's Avatar

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 700
    #4

    Re: causatives in tag-questions

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I have no idea why your book would give you that answer! In my opinion:

    They had their house painted, didn't they?
    They have had their house painted, haven't they?
    They had had their house painted, hadn't they?
    Very nicely stated! As I often say to my students, "Which are you going to believe, the book or me?" I'll score this one Emsr2d2 1, The Book 0.

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    #5

    Re: causatives in tag-questions

    I guess (but disagree) the reasoning is that had should be treated as an auxiliary verb, like be in the passive. That said, I cannot improve on Kfredson's excellent scoring system.

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