Yes, you wrote the tag question in its formal way correctly.

The informal, conversational way is this:

  • You saw him, didn't you?

    The more formal way is this:

  • You saw him, did you not?

    Perhaps you have seen courtroom dramas on TV. Sometimes a lawyer questions a witness with this formal way:

    Lawyer: Where were you on the night of June 24th?

    Witness: I don't remember.

    Lawyer: Well, let me refresh your memory. Your neighbor saw you leaving your apartment about 7:00 p.m. You went out that night, did you not?

    Witness: I guess so.

    Lawyer: You usually stay home at night, do you not?

    etc., etc.

  • It's not possible to have the two negative verbs, but it is possible to have the two affirmative verbs.

    An affirmative tag after an affirmative verb is often a response to something just said, and expresses acknowledgment, surprise, interest, or possibly disbelief.

    Here are some examples from Swan*:

  • So you're getting married, are you?
  • So she thinks she's going to become a doctor, does she?
  • You think you're funny, do you?

    The affirmative tag can also just be used to ask the question:

  • Your mother's home, is she?
  • You can eat shellfish, can you?

    And your sentence, too, is correct, Ismael:

    He can swim, can he?

    *Practical English Usage, Third Edition, by Michael Swan. Longman 2005
  • Dear Rachel,

    Thanks for the answer. But you wrote:

    It's not possible to have the two negative verbs.

    I would like to say that:

    In their book "Mastering English, an advanced grammar for non-native and native speakers", point (13) at the bottom of page 273 and at the top of the next page, Carl Bache & Niels Davidsen-Nielsen wrote:

    " Sentences like the following in which both the declarative clause and the tag clause are negative are RARE:

    (13) She can't come, can't she?

    In cases like this it would seem that the function of the tag is to challenge a view held by the hearer. For example, it would be natural for a speaker uttering (13) to continue his turn with an utterance like Oh yes, she can."

    Now, you may say it is RARE, but it is, too, possible.

    What do you think?

    Here is the link to the book on AMAZON:

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