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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    won't they come home soaked!

    "Ah!" we said, as we stood looking out at them through the window, "won't they come home soaked!" And we chuckled to think how wet they were going to get... (the forcast predicted "heavy showers with thunderstorms") (from "Three men in a boat" by Jerome K. Jerome)

    Could you explain this peculiar construction? Does it mean "they'll come home soaked"?

    Is it a common expression? Could you give some examples of how and when it can be used?
    Last edited by GeneD; 27-Apr-2017 at 10:09. Reason: typos

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    It's a 'rhetorical question'. It's used to make a point. You can Google it.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    I don't find it particularly natural in my regional variant of BrE. However, my Irish friend with whom I used to share a flat in Madrid used to use it a lot when actually what she was doing was making a statement.

    Me: I've got a really long day ahead. I've got twelve English classes to teach, one after another.
    Friend: Ah, won't you be tired when you get in!

    Like in your example, it ends with an exclamation mark, not a question mark. She did not say it with any kind of questioning intonation. What she meant by it was simply "Goodness me. You will be very tired when you get in!"
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  4. VIP Member
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    #4

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    This kind of exclamation is reasonably common in American English. Perhaps it entered our dialect on the lips of our many immigrants from Ireland.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    It is a bit dated in BrE but still current in Irish English.
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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    #6

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    An English friend uses the structure often. I wonder if this might reflect her Irish heritage and her having grown up in the North.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. Senior Member
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    #7

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    It has a hint of satire when you say it. Maybe that's why it is more popular in America.

  8. Piscean's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: won't they come home soaked!

    I see no sign of satire in such utterances.

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