tag question

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  • rubayet85
    Participant
    6 February, 2014 at 6:36
    • Total posts: 2

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction… Hasn’t it?

    Why is the tag ‘hasn’t it? Should it not be ‘haven’t they?’

    i need the answer plz

    dan
    Moderator
    7 February, 2014 at 13:54
    • Total posts: 770

    Reply To: tag question

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction… Hasn’t it?

    The correct question tag here is "doesn’t it".

    In your sentence the main verb is "has". There is no auxiliary verb in the sentence, and when there is no auxiliary verb we use "do" or "does" in the question tag.

    We use "has" or "have" in the question tag only if "has" or "have" is the auxiliary verb in the main sentence. Here are some examples:

    He has gone away for the weekend, hasn’t he?
    She hasn’t phoned, has she?

    Here the main verbs are "gone" and "phoned" and the auxiliary verb in each case is "has/hasn’t". So we use "hasn’t" or "has" in the question tag.

    The other part of your question was whether to use the singular or plural form of the verb in the question tag with the original sentence:

    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, doesn’t it? (correct)
    or
    Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, don’t they? (incorrect)

    The word "every" is a quantifier – it’s a word we use to tell us about the quantity of something. We use it when we want to talk about a group of more than two people or things. But when we use it we are referring to the members of this group as individuals. That’s why we use the singular form of the verb in the main sentence and in the question tag.

    Now have a look at this one:

    All actions have an equal and opposite reaction, don’t they? (correct)

    "All" is also a quantifier which we use to talk about a group of more than two people or things. But when we use "all" we are referring to the group as a whole. So we use plural forms of the verbs.

    Hope that helps.

    Dan

    rubayet85
    Participant
    7 February, 2014 at 14:03
    • Total posts: 2

    Reply To: tag question

    every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Hasn’t it?

    Everybody was there. Weren’t they?

    We know that when every is used as a subject, the pronoun should be they in tag question….but the first one’s tag is hasn’t it..I want to know the difference between the two plz…

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