Student or Learner
It is obvoius that they are trying to cheat, Is not it?
Cannot we use " Aren't they " in the above question?
NOT A TEACHER
(1) The moderator has given us an excellent answer.
(2) I just wanted to ask that you look closely at that sentence, and then you will
better understand why "aren't they" is not possible.
(3) Your sentence is -- grammatically speaking -- like this:
It (that they are trying to cheat) is obvious.
(a) The words "that they are trying to cheat" explain the word "it."
(b) Now look at what happens when we delete (erase) "that they are trying
It is obvious.
Therefore, we have: It is obvious, isn't it.
It is obvious that they are trying to cheat, Is not it?
^ Isn't it a rule in the structure of the tag question, for the verb to be negated and in the abbreviated form?
NOT A TEACHER!
It isn't a rule that the verb in the tag question must be negated. It is a rule that they must be balanced.
She is French, isn't she?
She's not French, is she?
I know the rule. I was specifically referring to abbreviating the verb (in the positive or in the negative form).
There is no rule that say that the contracted form of the negative must be used in tags, but it usually is.
NOT A TEACHER
(1) All the posters have given us really useful information.
(2) As the moderator said, there is no 100% rule that the tag question has to be negated or in abbreviated (contracted form).
(3) Tag questions are NOT an easy matter. Some scholars say that they are
still trying to understand completely the subject of tag questions.
(4) For example, you could say:
(a) It is obvious, isn't it?
(b) It is obvious, is it not?
(c) It is obvious, is it?
(4a) is probably the most common form.
(4b) is very formal; some people would use it for special emphasis (strength). (For example, one source on the Internet reminded me that judges and lawyers in court often speak like this: It is obvious that you are guilty, is it not! Tell the truth to the court, and you will receive a lighter prison term!)
(4c) is not used very often. You use it when you are not asking a question. You
are really ageeing with what the other person said:
Tom: You love me.
Mona: It is obvious, is it! (I have been trying to hide my love for you. I guess that I did a bad job, for my love is so obvious to you.)
Sometimes, you use it when you want to be sarcastic (rude):
The Parser: I am a native speaker.
Martha: You are a native speaker, are you! Well, then, why don't you know more about English grammar! I think that some learners know more grammar than you do, Mr. Native Speaker!
Last edited by TheParser; 02-Dec-2011 at 23:08.
TheParser, thank you for such great answer, I learn many new things from your comprehensive posts.