English Grammar

Isn't it? Tag Questions.

Once more I cannot understand the correction mail from Gymglish. Who can help me in that case of tag questions:

- Well, there is something different about you.-
My tag question was not accepted: Isn't it? Why is it wrong here?


  • Hi Samson! Your questions drives me into dire straits.
    I wonder why "there is something, isn't it?" would not be accepted. I am used to hearing "She is a nice bit of stuff, isn't she?" "You are sad, aren't you?"
    Though in your sentence as in my examples the verb be is not an auxiliary. Other verbs than be in such cases should be followed by a tag question with "do".
    It's becoming different about yout, doesn't it?
    You speak quite well, don't you?

    Now I wonder if I couldn't tell "there is something different about you, doesn't it?" as it goes in "it goes different with you, doesn't it?"
    Being now driven into dire straits, I'd like someone the kind of Silky to put things right. Aren't you hanging around, Silky?
  • Hello Ahq, Dire Straits are a British rock band, aren't they? Isn't it?
  • A British rock group indeed as well as an English expression used to say " to be in a difficult and troubled situation" ( it is mainly used for a financial problem)One of their songs was "Why worry?" Yes, why worry about question tags, Samson?

    Baby I see this world has made you sad
    Some people can be bad
    The things they do, the things they say
    But baby I'll wipe away those bitter tears
    I'll chase away those restless fears
    That turn your blue skies into grey
    Why worry, there should be laughter after the pain
    There should be sunshine after rain
    These things have always been the same
    So why worry now?

    The only problem with your question tag is that you have to use the same subject in the tag as in the question.

    IT's easy, isn't IT?
    THERE is something, isn't THERE?

    So Samson, YOU will no longer worry, will YOU?
  • Okay Silky,

    you hit the nail on the head. It was that "there" which I didn't understand, it kept me awake. Thanks once more for your nice poetical moving support.

    You really believe that this "there" is the subject? Who is there? What is there? It is there. Something is there. There is something. Isn't it? Or: theren't it?
    Or only the difference between logical or grammatical subject.

    Another sleepless night? Memorizing your poem I'll try to not worrying about that subject.
  • The something: Yes
    But the there? No

    I would like to put it to vote.
  • I know Silky for having solved harsh grammatical problems so far in this forum. Since I am quite sure that Silky doesn't really mean that THERE is a real subject but she points out that in the structure at stake - tag question - THERE operates like a subject would do. THERE IS is somehow an idiomatic way of speaking.
    There is no drawback at that, is there?

    Moreover, at reading your say "Who is there? ... What is there? ... There it is....", I guess that in those expressions you take THERE for an adverb of location. But it isn't. THERE is a so common word that is gets into a lot of idiomatic expressions.

    There you are, Samson! I thank you for making me ponder over tag questions.

    PS Warning: "there you are" doesn't mean that you are there, but that was somehow what I had to say. "There you are" as "here you are" never call tag questions, I think.
  • Thanks Mr. Gee, there I am.

    Now I have just to get used to that ISN'T THERE. Feels a bit unconfortable, linguistically spoken.
  • Oh yeah, Samson.
    For sure there isn't anyone out there who doesn't agree, is there?
  • What about an exercise Samson?It could help you implant it in your memory although I am sure you won't forget it...


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