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  1. man of manners's Avatar
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    #1

    Arrow Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    hi
    This is a new thread in which we will discuss some problematic sentences that need suitable question tags.
    The sentence is:

    I wish he were a king,..........?
    Note:
    In the last thread, more than imaginative question tags [part 2], emsr2d2 said, "What do you mean by "in which we are supposed to discuss"? Who requires you to do this? Where did you find the questions? Why haven't you told us what you think?". In response to this, I'd like to say that I meant "be supposed to=should" and I meant nothing else. Also, no one asks me to do this. I am an enthusiastic about English grammar. The questions I am asking are all own thoughts and also my friend's. He is a teacher, a very good one, indeed, but I should also ask natives.

    Thanks in advance!

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    #2

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    So tell us what you think would be a good question tag for this sentence.

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    #3

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    I find it very hard to imagine anyone ever adding a question tag to that statement.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    We don't normally ask for external confirmation of our own wishes/desires.

    The only natural context that I can think of is one in which the words were uttered by a speaker of informal (dare I say 'sub-standard') English in which every statement appears to be followed by a question tag - with no response expected. Such speakers tend not to use the subjunctive were.




    An example of such speech might be:

    So, like, I'm talking to me mate, inni? And he's like 'If I was a ****ing king, I'd like make sure you was ****ing alright, wouldn't I?' 'E's ****ing alright, me mate, inne? Tell you what - I ****ing wish 'e was a ****ing king, dunni?

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    #5

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    I ****ing wish 'e was a ****ing king, dunni?
    That's one kind of everyday English which I'm glad isn't part of the American variety. It's fun to listen to as an outsider, though.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    Wow, Piscean, when did you become so street?

    With regard to the original question, I wouldn't add a question tag to that statement either. There is a grammatically acceptable one but generally we don't encourage learners to learn grammatical but unnatural/unnecessary constructions.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. Skrej's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    I think somebody else has stated this (sorry I forgot who to credit) in a previous thread, but you seem to be missing the point of question tags.

    I agree with GoesStation - it seems unnatural to tag this particular sentence.

    What is your understanding of the purpose of question tags?

    Just because it may be possible to tag a given sentence doesn't necessarily mean it should be tagged.

    Edit: cross posted with several comments above.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  5. Skrej's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Wow, Piscean, when did you become so street?
    Yo girl, Fishy gots cred, man. Respect!
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  6. Piscean's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Wow, Piscean, when did you become so street.
    A mis-spent old age, wonnit?

    Or perhaps it should be innit. I become easily confused these days, dunni/innit/eh/wot?

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    #10

    Re: Question tag I wish he were a king ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    A mis-spent old age, wonnit?

    Or perhaps it should be innit. I become easily confused these days, dunni/innit/eh/wot?
    As a patron, rather than practitioner, of the art of English street English, I have to say that I thought innit was the correct tag for any utterance. When I lived in Canada I couldn't help adopting the simpler eh? tag which, lacking any hint of grammatical number or gender, works everywhere.
    I am not a teacher.

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