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    #1

    Tag Questions

    I would like to ask you what would be the right tag for the following questions:
    1. Richard had to leave the party early, hadn't or didn't he?
    2. They must have missed the bus, mustn't or haven't they?
    3. Your parents might have phoned while we were out, mightn't or haven't they?

    Thank you for the answer in advance!

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    #2

    Re: Tag Questions

    What would your answers be first?

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    #3

    Re: Tag Questions

    My answer will be:
    1. hadn't he (because it's equivalent to must)
    2. mustn't (in conversational English it would be "right")
    3. mightn't (but it sounds old-fashioned).

    These are my answers but I have seen them- answers of the 2nd and 3rd with "haven't they" and I cannot understand why they should be like that.
    If "haven't they" is correct for 2nd and 3rd, could someone tell me why?

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Tag Questions

    2 and 3 are correct. 1 is grammatically correct but most people would say "He had to leave early, didn't he?"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by BGstudent View Post
    1. Richard had to leave the party early, hadn't or didn't he?
    2. They must have missed the bus, mustn't or haven't they?
    3. Your parents might have phoned while we were out, mightn't or haven't they?

    Thank you for the answer in advance!
    1. Richard had to leave the party early, didn't he?
    2a. They must have missed the bus.
    2b. They missed the bus, didn't they?
    3. Do you think your parents called while we were out?

    Got to go!

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Tag Questions

    There's nothing wrong with "They must have missed the bus, mustn't they?" You won't hear it very often but it's grammatically correct.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by BGstudent View Post
    3. Your parents might have phoned while we were out, mightn't they?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, BG:

    As the teachers told us, that sentence is grammatically correct.

    But I believe that such a sentence would never be spoken by most Americans, especially the young.

    It seems much too precious (too, too elegant!).

    If a player of American-style football were to speak like that on a regular basis, I have no doubt that his teammates would start to have some rather unkind thoughts about him! And if a young lady spoke like that on a regular basis, she might have trouble finding a boyfriend.

    If I were forced to use that sentence, I would at least use the formal version:

    "Your parents might have phoned while we were out, might they not?" (or even "might they not have?" -- which, personally speaking, has a rather nice ring [sound] to it).


    James

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Tag Questions

    Do excuse me while I choke on my lunch with laughter at the last post. Whilst I can't pretend to be completely au fait with what American youngsters do or don't say these days, I have trouble believing that the gridiron player would come in for any ribbing from his teammates, nor that a girl would have trouble getting a boyfriend. Some of that might have been true 50 years ago (and certainly longer ago) but, in this day and age, how kids speak certainly has very little effect on their ability to hook up with someone they fancy!
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Tag Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There's nothing wrong with "They must have missed the bus, mustn't they?" You won't hear it very often but it's grammatically correct.
    I would turn that around and say that while it may be grammatically correct you certainly wouldn't expect to hear it here (Charlotte, NC). (It's time for me to do another informal survey. (Maybe.) )

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Tag Questions

    Americans tend not to use "mustn't" in a tag. Sometimes when the correct tag sounds off to us, we just switch to ending with "right?"
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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