Hi there. So happy to join you. I am a fan of English. Recently some other friends and I had a discussion about three tag questions. Of course there were different ideas about them and finally we couldn't come to any specific conclusion that which option is the correct one and why. I'll post the three multiple choice tests here and if possible, would you please share your ideas about the correct ones? Thanks a million.

 1. Jane believes that her team members won the game because they are familiar with teamwork, … ?

  1. aren't they       2. didn't they         3. didn't she           4. doesn't she

 2. It is a fact that all people are ready to try as hard as possible to become happy, … ?                                                                                                                                       1. don't they       2. isn't it              3. aren't they         4. doesn't it     

3. It is common knowledge that the Scottish wear kilts, .... ?                                                  1. aren't they    2. don't they       3. are they              4. isn't it                                                             

Original Post

Hi, Jasabiza, and welcome to the G.E.

jasabiza posted:

Hi there. So happy to join you. I am a fan of English. Recently some other friends and I had a discussion about three tag questions. Of course there were different ideas about them and finally we couldn't come to any specific conclusion that which option is the correct one and why. I'll post the three multiple choice tests here and if possible, would you please share your ideas about the correct ones? Thanks a million.

 1. Jane believes that her team members won the game because they are familiar with teamwork, … ?

  1. aren't they       2. didn't they         3. didn't she           4. doesn't she

 2. It is a fact that all people are ready to try as hard as possible to become happy, … ?                                                                                                                                       1. don't they       2. isn't it              3. aren't they         4. doesn't it     

3. It is common knowledge that the Scottish wear kilts, .... ?                                                  1. aren't they    2. don't they       3. are they              4. isn't it                                                             

In all your three questions, I see that the basic rule is to know that the question tag is normally based on the main clause -of course- unless the main clause expresses the speaker's opinion like 'I/we think that ....'. I see that the most appropriate answers are:

1. doesn't she?

2. isn't it?

3. isn't it?

 

 

I support Ahmed_btm's answer. In writing, a tag question will almost always relate to the main clause. In conversation, however, the tag sometimes shifts to a subordinate clause, as if the speaker had entered a new sentence altogether.

I assume your and your friends' interest in this topic is purely speculative, Jasabiza, and that you are trying to ask a trick question. Nevertheless, welcome to the Grammar Exchange! We're happy to have you with us.

Hi there. Thanks for your kind reply. First of all I don't know why my questions were considered as speculative and as you mentioned as a trick question. I didn't intend to be a bother at all. Secondly what I wrote down in my post was really true. Some friends of mine believed that the tests contain introductory phrases ( the introductory ones which were explained in some other post about tag questions in the forum).So they believed that we have to choose some other options. Finally, I am so happy to be a member here.                                                                                                                                                                        Sincerely yours  

First of all, a tag question must relate to a certain clause. Secondly, sentences with tag questions usually have only one clause. But in certain cases a tag question will relate to a "that"-clause following "I think" or "I believe": "I believe it's raining outside, isn't it?" Apart from such sentences, it is generally safe to assume that a tag question should relate to the root clause. All of the sentences you have presented have multiple clauses. In each case, you have tested tag questions relating to each of the clauses within the sentence. And in each case, in keeping with the guidelines I have just given you, we have recommended using the tag question related to the root clause. You can tell your friends.

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