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Thread: don't they?

  1. Banned
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    #1

    don't they?

    Back in the days at school, English teachers here in Germany told us lots of lessons about these additional endings in sentences like 'Apples taste great, don't they?' or 'They will be there, won't they?' or 'He's a good man, right?' or 'He's a football player, isn't he?' or 'You're Kris, aren't you?' and so on. I always thought these additional endings were important but since I started to try and improve my English by taking part in discussions on English and American facebook pages some months ago (which by the way has helped me a lot so far and I'd recommend this to all English learners), I've gotten the impression that these additional endings seem to be quite rare.
    Is that maybe a facebook-related specialty or have they become outdated in general? Because it's really weird, I almost never come across these additional expressions on facebook or elsewhere in the internet.
    Maybe they're predominantly used only in spoken language, I don't know. Or maybe I had bad teachers, that might also be the case.

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    #2

    Re: don't they?

    Facebook is only for writing, nicht wahr? Yes, they are not often used in writing. They are called question tags, and are extensively used in speech.

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    #3

    Re: don't they?

    Just out of interest, is nicht wahr a catch-all question tag in German, like the French n'est-ce pas or the Welsh isn't it?

    Is English the only European language to use specific tags?

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    #4

    Re: don't they?

    Yes to the first question.

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    #5

    Re: don't they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Is English the only European language to use specific tags?
    According to this Wikipedia article, English tag questions... are atypically complex, because they vary according to at least three factors.... This is unique among the Germanic languages, but the Celtic languages operate in a very similar way.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #6

    Re: don't they?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Just out of interest, is nicht wahr a catch-all question tag in German, like the French n'est-ce pas or the Welsh isn't it?

    Is English the only European language to use specific tags?
    I think "nicht wahr?" is used by people from southern parts of Germany and maybe Switzerland, Austria. Same is for "gell?". In northern and western parts of Germany, where I live, question tags are not so common, especially not these question tags from the south.
    Last edited by krisfromgermany; 13-Nov-2016 at 19:05.

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