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  1. #1
    neildsilva is offline Newbie
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    Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    I would like to know what could be the most suitable question-tag for the following sentence:

    Humour may be one of our best antidotes to stressful situations.

    This is for students learning ESL. Any help will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    "... mightn't it?" However, I would change "may" to "might" earlier in the sentence - it is the more appropriate word for your context.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. #3
    neildsilva is offline Newbie
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    Thanks for your response. I agree that 'may' can be ideally replaced by 'might' in the above sentence. However, I would like to know what an appropriate question-tag would be if the sentence does contain 'may be'.

  4. #4
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by neildsilva View Post
    Thanks for your response. I agree that 'may' can be ideally replaced by 'might' in the above sentence. However, I would like to know what an appropriate question-tag would be if the sentence does contain 'may be'.
    There isn't one.

    As ems has already explained, 'mightn't it?' is possible, but most of us would use 'might' in the main clause if we were going to add a question tag.

    'Mayn't it? exists, but it is rarely used.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    There isn't one.

    As ems has already explained, 'mightn't it?' is possible, but most of us would use 'might' in the main clause if we were going to add a question tag.

    'Mayn't it? exists, but it is rarely used.
    The last person I heard using "mayn't it" was my grandfather whose education in the English language took place in the early 1920s. I haven't heard it from anyone of a younger generation.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  6. #6
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I haven't heard it from anyone of a younger generation.


    I sometimes feel very old in this forum.

  7. #7
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post


    I sometimes feel very old in this forum.
    Oops! You know what? I nearly finished my post with "Now watch 5jj tell me he still uses it" and I talked myself out of it. I should go with my gut instinct!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  8. #8
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    I try to avoid some of the pass-their-best-by constructions in my speech, especially when I am with learners. Unfortunately, the English insisted on in preparatory, public and some grammar schools well into the 1960s was very much the language of educated people of the 1930s, when many of my English teachers were at public school and Oxbridge. It was so drilled/beaten into us for ten years, followed by a further three years with fellow-students and dons who had been through the same process, that some of us are still stuck with it.

  9. #9
    neildsilva is offline Newbie
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    Re: Appropriate question-tag for the following sentence

    Yes, I did give 'mayn't it' a thought and then quickly disbanded the idea. I have never heard anyone using it in contemporary speech and we focus on functional grammar when teaching English here. Though I cannot change the question (it was asked verbatim in an examination), I would prefer to stick with 'mightn't it'. Thanks - that's a load off my back.

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