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Is this a question tag - "did they"?


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Is this a question tag - "did they"? #16 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:52 am   Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Esl_Expert wrote:
Kitosdad wrote:
Is there one?
Are there any?

It is also quite normal (and grammatically correct) to say "Is there any?" It depends on what "any" refers to:

- Are there any eggs in the fridge?
- Is there any cheese in the fridge?

:wink:
----------------------------------------

The words "nobody" and "no-one" are called "indefinite pronouns". Although these indefinite pronouns are grammatically singular (third person singular), you need to keep in mind that they basically mean the same thing as "not any people" or "no people" (i.e. people = third person plural).

When we refer back to this sort of indefinite pronoun, we use the plural pronoun "they". Using "he" is not a good option here because that would seem to refer only to a male, and using "she" would seem to refer to only a female.

Nuggle wrote:
In my humble opinion, why shouldn't we just think the "No-one" simply as a subject? If so, the correct answer must be (C)[ Didn't they] right? Should we think the "no-one" as a negated subject? (Is there any?)

You are right about the word "no-one" being negative. It means the same thing as "not anyone". This negative subject makes the first part of the sentence negative. "No-one understood that word" is a negative sentence.

In the most common type of tag question, a positive (non-negated) form of the verb is used if the the main part of the sentence is negative, and vice versa. This kind of tag question basically asks for confirmation of what has just been stated. The tag question "did they" is correct in this test because the first part of the sentence is negative.

- John forgot to bring his book, didn't he?
- John didn't remember to bring his book, did he?
- Everyone forgot their books, didn't they?
- No one remembered their books, did they?

__________________________
"Any truth is better than indefinite doubt." ~ Arthur Conan Doyle

Does the rule apply to sentences like: "Nobody does that, do they?"
I suppose 'everybody 'and 'anyone ' could as well be categorized under indefinite pronouns, don't they? Would they be considered singular or plural in BrE? What about the American form?

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Ali
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Is this a question tag - "did they"? #17 (permalink) Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:07 am   Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Dear Teacher,

I want to clarify something. If I ask somebody like: " Nimal, No one understood that word, did you" . Please tell me whether this sentense is correct or incorrect.?

Thank you
Regards.

Gunaseeli
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Is this a question tag - "did they"? #18 (permalink) Thu Aug 26, 2010 10:20 am   Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Hello Gunaseeli,

I presume that the context is a language lesson, where one foreign word is being discussed. If nobody in the class appeared to understand then meaning of the word, then the structure of your sentence is fine, but your punctuation needs correction.
Nimal, no one understood that word. Did you?
However, it seems contradictory to say "no one understood", then ask if someone understood, so I would suggest the addition of the word 'else' like this:
Nimal, no one else understood that word. Did you?
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Is this a question tag - "did they"? #19 (permalink) Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:54 am   Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Hello Beeesneees,
Thank you for all these explanations. No-one was (useless) in vain, did it?
I like your photo, it is nice.
Dar
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Is this a question tag - "did they"? #20 (permalink) Thu Sep 30, 2010 22:50 pm   Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Mahesh9jai wrote:
What would be the question tag for...

They have bread for breakfast.
They have bread for breakfast, haven't they?

I do hope, I am not mistaken.
Darik
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Is this a question tag - "did they"? #21 (permalink) Thu Jun 30, 2011 1:40 am   Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Hi everyone,
I do agree that the right answer is (d). The word "No-one" means a total audience and it replaces the plural pronoun 'They' and no-one here makes the statement negative, i.e " All the people in the audience didn't understand. So, the question tag for it is " did they?" of course ...
And I don't think there's another possible answer .
Yours faithfully,
Houria
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Re: Is this a question tag - "did they"? #22 (permalink) Thu Jun 30, 2011 2:40 am   Re: Is this a question tag - "did they"?
 

Darik wrote:
Mahesh9jai wrote:
What would be the question tag for...

They have bread for breakfast.
They have bread for breakfast, haven't they?

I do hope, I am not mistaken.
You need the helping verb 'do' for the tag question, Darik. That is the way to create a tag question when the verb in the sentence is simple present:

- They have bread for breakfast, don't they?
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