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    #1

    Tail questions exceptions

    Why is right to write "Little is known about the accident, IS IT? " instead of "ISN'T IT?"

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    #2

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    They can both be correct. The first could be used when you really don't know the answer, or are surprised, don't believe that much is known, etc. If you're just checking information and think that little is know, then use the second.

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    #3

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    Thanks for ur quick answer, I got the idea, but the problem is that the question is taken from annual English exam for final-year students, it's written that" IS IT?" - right answer and no explanation is given(((

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    Quote Originally Posted by Nandeska View Post
    Thanks for your quick answer. I got the idea (no comma required here) but the problem is that the question is taken from an annual English exam for final-year students. It's written that "IS IT?" is the right answer and no explanation is given. (((
    We regularly see test/exam questions where two answers would have been possible. Unfortunately, the people who write the questions are frequently not native speakers and/or they don't like to admit that two answers are possible. We have seen loads of questions where native speakers would have given a different answer to that given in the key. You just have to live with it sometimes.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    Mind you, this is an odd question, as the more common answer would be the negative.

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    #6

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    Quote Originally Posted by Nandeska View Post
    Why is right to write "Little is known about the accident, IS IT? " instead of "ISN'T IT?"
    It's wrong to me.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    It's wrong to me.
    It's fine in BrE when, as Tdol said earlier, you really don't know the answer, or are surprised and don't believe that much is known.

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    #8
    To me "is it" sounds right. I'd consider "isn't it" incorrect or at least unnatural here.

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    #9

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    In the end I found the rule saying sentences having words like " seldom", "barely" "little" "hardly ever" an so on requires " positive tail"

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    #10

    Re: Tail questions exceptions

    Quote Originally Posted by Nandeska View Post
    In the end I found the rule saying sentences having words like " seldom", "barely" "little" "hardly ever" an so on requires " positive tail"
    I disagree with the application of this to the question. The positive or negative form used would relate to the intended meaning.

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