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Many grammar books teach how to make tag sentences, such
as the following:
It's a nice day, isn't it?
What they seldom tell you is that in real life, this
question would often be expressed as
Nice day, huh?
Another tag question that gets changed in real communication
is something like:
You like my mother, don't you?
This could just as easily be expressed as:
You like my mother, right? (with special emphasis on
A good activity is to give students several tag questions
with the endings missing and have them fill in the
traditional endings. Then, give examples of tag questions
with "huh" and "what" and go through the list again, seeing
which sentences work with "huh" and "what." Look for patterns
in the answers. (I originally did this exercise in a class
after a student asked me what the word "huh" meant. Sometimes, these
little words and expressions are especially tricky).
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