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  1. Unregistered
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    #1

    Explain the question "There haven't been any messages for me, have there?"

    Hello I have a question about the phrase "There haven't been any messages for me, have there?"

    I can't quite understand how to explain how that questions works that to someone who is studying ESL. Can anyone help me?

    Jim


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 484
    #2

    Re: Explain the question "There haven't been any messages for me, have there?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
    Hello I have a question about the phrase "There haven't been any messages for me, have there?"

    I can't quite understand how to explain how that questions works that to someone who is studying ESL. Can anyone help me?

    Jim
    It depends on the intonation. If the tone rises at the end, you are enquiring it there have been any messages for you.

    If the tone goes downwards at the end, then you're inviting the other person to confirm that there have, indeed, been no messages for you.

  2. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038
    #3

    Re: Explain the question "There haven't been any messages for me, have there?"

    A mnemonic I use is based on the shapes of the letters U and S as written: rising intonation means the speaker is unsure, falling intonation means the speaker's sure.

    b

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