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Oh, you can't can you?



 
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Oh, you can't can you? #1 (permalink) Wed May 25, 2005 19:45 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Test No. incompl/elem-36 "Question Tags (2)", question 4

Sarah: 'I can't take any more.'
Paul: '.........'

(a) Oh you can, can you?
(b) Oh you could, could you?
(c) Oh, you can't can you?
(d) Oh you could, could you?

Test No. incompl/elem-36 "Question Tags (2)", answer 4

Sarah: 'I can't take any more.'
Paul: 'Oh, you can't can you?'

Correct answer: (c) Oh, you can't can you?
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The answer should be "Oh you can,can't you?"

Viveki
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? #2 (permalink) Fri Jul 22, 2005 15:40 pm   ?
 

Alan wrote:
You say your version should be the right answer. I'm interested why you think I've got it wrong.

I'm afraid "Oh you can't, can you?" is the correct answer...

The utterance is negative "I can't take it anymore" consequently, you can't bring a positive answer, just out of the blue.
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? #3 (permalink) Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:51 am   ?
 

i was thinking of: oh oh, you can't, can you? sounds weird
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Oh, you can't can you? #4 (permalink) Sat Nov 07, 2009 16:39 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

All the confusions arise here are because People learned from the primary classes about question tags like..
-when "positive" statements come, then the question tag should be "negative"...and vice versa..
but here ...
this is another type of question tag..right?
I think,People need a more detailed explanation including me about these..
a)Positive >>> negative convertion of question tags..
b) same structure repeated as a surprising expression..like positive statement and positive question tag also followed by.

Some one please give an explanation for the different kinds of question tags..!

thanks in advance
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Oh, you can't can you? #5 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:24 am   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Dear Alan

Quote:
There are three main times of question tag:
1 The sarcastic response or one showing surprise or disbelief where both are postive as in:
A I've worked really hard today
B You have, have you?

2 The response where you hope that the answer will be no from the speaker:
A I have lost all my money at the casino
B You haven't, have you?

3 The response where you hope the answer will be yes from the speaker:
A I think I locked the door
B You did, didn't you?

In this case:
Sarah: 'I can't take any more.'
Paul: 'Oh, you can't can you?'

I think the answer is "you can't can you?" because Paul believes Sarah will say "no" in reply. (grammar #2) Am I right? There is no sarcastic response or surprise or disbelief I guess.

I would appreciate your reply.
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Oh, you can't can you? #6 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:13 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Seemingly there's a subcategory to the tag question number 1:
Quote:
....
1 The sarcastic response or one showing surprise or disbelief where both are postive as in:
A I've worked really hard today
B You have, have you?
....

And that's a sarcastic statement which is uttered as an answer to a negative statement, which follows a different pattern as "both positive" clauses:

Frank: I can't take it any more.
Jill: Oh you can't, can you?

The question sounds somehow rhetorical to me i.e. the questioner already knows the answer. Such sentences apparently follow the same pattern as that of which the questioner expects a 'no' as an answer but they have a rather different connotation.

Please correct me If I'm wrong.

Thanks
Ali
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Oh, you can't can you? #7 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 16:27 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Quote:
Seemingly there's a subcategory to the tag question number 1:

I wouldn't say that. Whoever wrote rule #1 one neglected to mention that having two negatives creates the same effect as having two positives. As can be seen in the rest of the test, short sentences with this sort of tag also typically begin with the word "Oh":

Sarah: 'I can't take any more.'
Paul: 'Oh, you can't, can't you?'

Employee: 'I can't work longer than 15 minutes without a break.'
Boss: 'Oh, you can't, can't you?'

Here are some examples taken from books:
Quote:
"You can't knock a man down when he asks to borrow your lantern," returned Abel, doggedly, on the defensive.

"Oh, you can't, can't you?" jeered Sarah. "All you're good for, I reckon, is to shuck corn or peel potatoes!"

Quote:
"I'll just have coffee, Rita, if it's not too much trouble," Aunty Lily says. "You just can't get the same kick out of a cuppa tea."

"Oh, you can't, can't you?" my mother mutters on her way out the door, signalling for me to follow her.

It seems likely that there is simply an error in this particular test question. Perhaps it will be corrected.

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Oh, you can't can you? #8 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 16:35 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

I have always felt the emphasis on question tags is a bit ridiculous in most ESL methods. Most native speaker do not use these anywhere near as often as books would have you believe. And the example above with can and can't sounds absolutely ridiculous and is not something I can ever remember a single person ever saying in my life.
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Oh, you can't can you? #9 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 16:44 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Hello OxfordBlues,

I'd tend to agree with you about the over-emphasis placed on tags. In addition, since tag questions are primarily a feature of spoken English, and rely heavily on intonation, it sometimes seems pointless to attempt to explain them in writing.

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Oh, you can't can you? #10 (permalink) Wed Dec 16, 2009 16:48 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

I can't tell you how many classes I've taught or books I've edited where there were multiple chapters on question tags. Some even take it to a ridiculous level of indirect questions where the student is taught to make a slightly related statement in the hopes that the person they are speaking to will somehow volunteer the actual information they want. Not only is it inefficient, it's silly. The overuse of question tags is equally pointless to me.

The only important thing to understand with question tags is that the tag uses the same auxiliary verb as the original statement.
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Oh, you can't can you? #11 (permalink) Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:05 am   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Dear fellows Ali and Esl Expert
Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge. I now can say that I have a good grasp of this case ;)

Best regards
Mahboubeh
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Oh, you can't can you? #12 (permalink) Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:48 am   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Dear Alan,
Would you please tell me 'I can't take any more' means I can't stand it or i can't think about it?
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Oh, you can't can you? #13 (permalink) Thu Dec 09, 2010 21:43 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

What's the meaning of " I can't take any more"
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Oh, you can't can you? #14 (permalink) Thu Dec 09, 2010 22:36 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

I can't take any more means 'I have had enough and I cannot take any more pressure that a particular situation is placing me under.'

If someone says they can't take any more, then they feel completely drained, often emotionally and physically.
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Oh, you can't can you? #15 (permalink) Fri Dec 10, 2010 18:09 pm   Oh, you can't can you?
 

Dear Beeesneees

Thanks a lot.
it's a nice idiom. I cant speak english very well , i have spent a lot of money on english classes ,each time i stopped my class for a reason like my university , my job and so on, though .i cant take any more , i have decided this trying will be the last trying . this froum and this site give me a good chance to get ride of it.
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