Grammar Challenge
 

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- Practice Quiz 1

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- Practice Quiz 2

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- Practice Quiz 3

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- Use the grammar
Use the grammar

Now is your chance to use this week's grammar! Try continuing the following dialogue using question tags. We'll publish our favourite five entries.

Mary: Hey John, how are you? I haven't seen you for ages!
John: I know. Time just flies, doesn't it?
Mary: You've got a new job, haven't you?

 
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Jorge, Chile
John: Yes I have a new one, at last I have found what I have been expecting for so long.

Mary: Good, now you feel very happy, dont' you?

John: Of course I do. I'd like you to come to know my new work place. I'm sure you would love to come, wouldn't you?

Mary: Yeah, but surely you're not allowed to receive guests, are you?

John: don't worry, my boss is a nice guy, isn't he?

Mary: I guess



Catherine says:
Thanks for your dialogue, Jorge! All your question tags are grammatically correct, but we need to check apostrophe position in this one:


Mary: Good, now you feel very happy, dont' you?

An apostrophe is used to show a missing letter. 'don't' means 'do not' - but the 2 words are put together - donot - and the 'o' of 'not' is replaced with an apostrophe to make 'don't'. So your sentence should read:

Mary: Good, now you feel very happy, don't you?

Well done, Jorge!
Catherine


Ya, Taiwan
John: MmmhÖ I have, havenít I?

Mary: What do you mean? (A kid standing behind John is pulling his hand.) Is he your son, isnít he? I have no idea that you have such a cute boy.

John: Yes, he is my son. I am a stay-home dad now. Perhaps, it is more correct to introduce him as my boss, isnít it?

Mary: Your new job sounds lovely, doesnít it? I believe you and your son must have a lot of fun time together.

Son: We should get going now, shouldnít we?

John: Well, I love to tell you more about the fun part but I have to take this little soccer player to the field now. Being a stay-home dad is a full-time job, isnít it?



Catherine says:
What an entertaining dialogue, Ya! There is only one question tag we need to look at again:


Mary: ...Is he your son, isnít he?

The sentence 'Is he your son' is a question - and we don't usually add question tags to questions! If you change this question to a positive (or negative) statement, you can use a question tag, like this:

Mary: ...He is your son, isnít he?

Or this:

Mary: ...He isn't your son, is he?

Thanks again, Ya!
Catherine


Gabriella, Switzerland
John: Yes, I'm really lucky after searching for such a long time, aren't I?

Mary: What about the girl living above my flat, who works in your office too ? She certainly would help you if you face some problems, wouldn't she?

John: Yes, for sure. She's really nice isn't she? Well, let's talk about your holiday plans for this year, shall we? (shan't we?)



Catherine says:
Thanks for your dialogue, Gabriella, it's lovely! The question tag for let's is shall we? so you can delete (shan't we) - your first attempt was correct! Well done Gabriella!
Catherine


Juthaporn, Thailand
John: Yes, I have got a job after having been unemployed for a year. It is not easy to get a job these days, isn't it?

Mary: Yes, I think so. Anyway, it's worth to wait for a year to get such a great job, isn't it?

John: Well, If I was single that wouldn't be much trouble, would it?

Mary: You are right. Well, shall we celebrate your good news at my place? Please bring your family too, won't you?

John: Yes, I will. My kids must be excited to see you and your family again, don't they?



Catherine says:
Hi Juthaporn! You have written a very nice dialogue here, with lots of question tags! Most of them are correct, but let's have a closer look at one or two of them:


John: Yes, I have got a job after having been unemployed for a year. It is not easy to get a job these days, isn't it?

The mistake in this sentence is very similar to one of Adek's (in the comment below). The verb 'is' is positive, but the phrase 'It is not easy', has a negative aspect - so the question tag should be positive. A correct version would be:

John: Yes, I have got a job after having been unemployed for a year. It is not easy to get a job these days, is it?

Now let's look at this sentence:

John: Yes, I will. My kids must be excited to see you and your family again, don't they?

'excited' is an adjective, not a verb. There are 2 verbs in this sentence: the modal 'must' and the verb 'be'. It is the modal that needs a question tag, so a correct sentence would be:

John: Yes, I will. My kids must be excited to see you and your family again, must't they?

That's all from me, Jutaporn, make sure you log on to Grammar Challenge next week!
Catherine


Adek, Poland
John: Yes, and that changed all my life, didn't it?

Mary: I think you're happy with your new job, aren't you?

John: Yes, I am. But when you work all day long you have no time for anything else, don't you?

Mary: You don't want to tell me that you won't have time to go on a date with me, do you? I hope, you invite me to a cinema, do you?

John: Yes, I do. And I think you won't refuse my invitation, will you?

Mary: No, I won't. I hope I choose the film, don't I?



Catherine says:
Well done, Adek, this is a lovely dialogue and you have used a lot of question tags! Most of them are correct, but we need to look at one or two of them again:


John: Yes, I am. But when you work all day long you have no time for anything else, don't you?

This is a very interesting sentence. The verb 'have' is positive, but the phrase 'you have no time', has a negative aspect - so the question tag should be positive. A correct version would be:

John: Yes, I am. But when you work all day long you have no time for anything else, do you?

A second sentence we need to look at is this one:

Mary: I hope, you invite me to a cinema, do you?

A better way to write the sentence would be with the modal verb 'will':

Mary: I hope, you will invite me to a cinema, won't you?

John's answer would be: Yes, I will.

You have used 'will' very well in the next part of the dialogue, Adek:


John: And I think you won't refuse my invitation, will you?

... but you need to look again at Mary's last sentence:

Mary: No, I won't. I hope I choose the film, don't I?

Mary could improve her English by saying 'I can choose the film, can't I?

Thanks again for your lovely dialogue, Adek!

And thanks to everybody else who sent dialogues with question tags: sorry we are unable to publish them all. Don't forget to come back for the next episode of Grammar Challenge! Catherine


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