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  1. Unregistered

    Question question

    what is the best way to ask the following question:
    He is not there? or
    Is he not there?


    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2005
    • Posts: 2,585

    Re: question

    Hello Unreg,

    1. He is not there?
    2. Is he not there?
    3. He isn't there?
    4. Isn't he there?
    5. He's not there?

    All 5 versions are possible. All suggest that speaker expected "him" to be there. To me, #1, #3 and #5 sound "puzzled", while #2 and #4 sound "mildly incredulous". But of course, that might change with a fuller context.

    Best wishes,


    Not a professional ESL teacher.

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