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    #1

    Question I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?

    Hello,


    1. I was reading a textbook when I encountered this:

    Madonna's a singer, isn't she? Not a real question

    Madonna's a singer, isn't she? A real question

    What are real and not real questions?


    2. I have also encountered this, "I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?".

    Why not say "I'm your first girlfriend , am I not?"


    Please help.


    Thanks,

    bluepinky

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    #2

    Re: I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluepinky View Post
    Hello,


    1. I was reading a textbook when I encountered this:

    Madonna's a singer, isn't she? Not a real question

    Madonna's a singer, isn't she? A real question

    What are real and not real questions?


    2. I have also encountered this, "I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?".

    Why not say "I'm your first girlfriend , am I not?"


    Please help.


    Thanks,

    bluepinky
    1. I can only imagine that your textbook is referring to the differing intonation patterns with which the same tag question can be pronounced, in which it will be interpreted either as a genuine request for confirmation of a point (a rising intonation) or merely as a tagged-on affirmation by the speaker requiring no response from the addressee (a falling intonation).

    2. You could, but it would sound extremely formal. 'Aren't I?' the more commonly used form is actually a phonetic corruption of an earlier form amn't I, which now remains only in dialectal use.
    Last edited by philo2009; 21-Jun-2009 at 04:32.


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    #3

    Re: I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?

    Oh, right, right! Thanks for your reply, Philo. Now it's clear.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    1. I can only imagine that your textbook is referring to the differing intonation patterns with which the same tag question can be pronounced, in which it will be interpreted either as a genuine request for confirmation of a point (a rising intonation) or merely as a tagged-on affirmation by the speaker requiring no response from the addressee (a falling intonation).
    ...
    A memory aid I use for remembering this pattern is to imagine writing the letters U (with the pen rising on the upstroke -uncertain) and S (with the pen moving down - Sure).

    Of course, some people may form these letters another way...

    b

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    #5

    Re: I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    2. You could, but it would sound extremely formal. 'Aren't I?' the more commonly used form is actually a phonetic corruption of an early Middle English form amn't I, which now remains only in dialectal use.
    I believe it was also the origin of "ain't" (now stigmatized).

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    #6

    Re: I'm your first girlfriend, aren't I?

    Quote Originally Posted by orangutan View Post
    I believe it was also the origin of "ain't" (now stigmatized).
    Yes, I believe so.

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