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    #1

    question tag

    It seems to be a new account, isn't, doesn't it ?

    Which is the correct question tag? If neither, what should it be?

    Many thanks.

  1. buggles's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: question tag

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    It seems to be a new account, isn't, doesn't it ?

    Which is the correct question tag? If neither, what should it be?

    Many thanks.
    If we read the sentence, mentally adding brackets.......

    It seems to be (a new account), doesn't it?

    we can see the question tag relates to "It seems", so we use "doesn't it?"

    "It seems, isn't it?" clearly sounds wrong.

    buggles(not a teacher)

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    #3

    Re: question tag

    Quote Originally Posted by buggles View Post
    If we read the sentence, mentally adding brackets.......

    It seems to be (a new account), doesn't it?

    we can see the question tag relates to "It seems", so we use "doesn't it?"


    Quote Originally Posted by buggles View Post
    "It seems, isn't it?" clearly sounds wrong.

    buggles(not a teacher)
    I beg to differ, buggles.
    A standard question tag (or a tag question, if one might prefer) asks for confirmation of the speaker's opinion.
    If the speaker might want to not ask for confirmation of their opinion but to invite a correction of their understanding of the situation, then they might well say:
    It seems to be..., isn't it?

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    #4

    Re: question tag

    It seems to be a ball, doesn't it?
    Yes, it does.

    It seems to be a ball, isn't it (a ball)?
    Yes, it is.

    Now I wonder if there should a period after ball.

    It seems to be a ball. Isn't it (a ball)?
    Actually, it's not.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: question tag

    I come back with "doesn't it."

    "It seems to be X, doesn't it?" = a less emphatic version of "It does seem to be X, doesn't it?"

    You'd say "That looks delicious, doesn't it?"

    So you'd say "That looks like it will be delicious, doesn't it?" not "Won't it." the main verb here is how it seems, how it looks, not what it will be.

    Try this: When in doubt, reverse it.

    He looks like he's happy, ___ he? -- Doesn't he, or isn't he?
    Reverse: He doesn't look like he's happy, does he? -- Cleary, the "does" is the tag verb, going back to the main verb.

    {not a teacher}

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    #6

    Re: question tag

    I agree that 'doesn't it' should be used, but 'isn't it' is a form that you'll hear some speakers using, and seem and be often share territory so there is possibly some logic behind 'isn't' as a choice. It will still be marked wrong, though.

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    #7

    Re: question tag

    Many thanks to all of you, fellow members, for your help.

  5. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: question tag

    Well, in Singapore and Malaysia, the norm is "isn't it?" for any question, any person.... But in most places the pronoun and verb have to be repeated and inverted in the question tag.

    "Lee Kwan Yew is a good prime minister, isn't it [so]?" (Singapore)

    cf.

    "Jimmy Carter is a great humanitarian, isn't he?" (US)

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    #9

    Re: question tag

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    It seems to be a new account, isn't, doesn't it ?

    Which is the correct question tag? If neither, what should it be?

    Many thanks.
    The latter, because the main verb (seem) is a full verb and not a form of the verb 'be'.

    'Isn't it?' would be a possible subsequent question, but it would not count as a tag, and would therefore require placing in a separate sentence, preceded by a period.

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    #10

    Re: question tag

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    It seems to be a new account, isn't, doesn't it ?

    Which is the correct question tag? If neither, what should it be?

    Many thanks.
    There is no appropriate question tag to this sentence.
    The speaker is saying that, to him, it seems to be a new account. There is no way that someone else can verify what seems or doesn't seem to the speaker. There are some statements that just don't lend themselves to question tags.
    Consider:
    A: It seems to be a new account. Is it? (Or "Isn't it?") Correct, as philo points out.
    B: Yes, I believe it is, don't I? Wrong
    B: Um ... I think so, don't I? Wrong
    B: That's how it appears to me, isn't it? Wrong




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