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Hello, Tonyjab. Welcome back! You're the second member whom we haven't seen in a while who has made a post this week. It's like a reunion.

tonyjab posted:

I know introductory verbs like seem, appear, ...etc don't affect the question tag. But what if there wasn't there a finite verb

- He doesn't seem to be enjoying himself, (is he?/doesn't he)

When the main verb is "seem," "appear," etc., and that verb is complemented by a nonfinite, infinitival clause, we must use "do"-support in the tag question. "Is he?" would be ungrammatical in your example, and "doesn't he?" is also incorrect, because it doesn't reverse the polarity of the main clause. The answer should be "does he?"

(1) *He doesn't seem to be enjoying himself, is he?
(2) *He doesn't seem to be enjoying himself, doesn't he?
(3) He doesn't seem to be enjoying himself, does he?

Last edited by David, Moderator

I am in complete agreement with David.  I'll also add one more thing:

If the initial statement is positive:

3'a:  He seems to be enjoying himself ...

the tag still needs to be a negation of the verb "to do":

3'b:  ... doesn't he?

unless the initial statement contains an auxiliary:

3''a:  He isn't enjoying himself, is he?
3''b:  He is enjoying himself, isn't he?
3'''a: He hasn't been enjoying himself, has he?
3'''b: He has been enjoying himself, hasn't he?

In these examples, the main verb is "is" or "has".  As David says, "seem" and "appear" are not auxiliaries per se, even though they do take verbal (infinitive) complements.  Therefore, they require they require "do"-support in negation, in interrogative form, and in tags.


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