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Question tags

Posted by R. Berg on November 25, 2001 at

In Reply to: Questions tag posted by Heleno on November 25, 2001

: R.Berg: In the site:, there is a question tag quiz, and one of the options is:
: 1 - Don't be so critical,_____?

: According to them, it's possible.
: Thanks

I looked at that site. The answer they want is
Don't be so critical, will you?
In my opinion, "will you" is only marginal as a tag for "Don't be so critical." We wouldn't usually hear English speakers say that. Question tags typically repeat the verb of the statement they follow, or if no verb in the statement is appropriate, they contain some form of the auxiliary "do." Tags usually soften the statement by turning it into a question. If "will you" has any impact at all on "Don't be so critical," it's to make the statement harsher.

According to the quiz, "Everybody knows the answer, doesn't he?" is wrong and "Everybody knows the answer, don't they?" is right. According to me, the opposite is true.

About tags with commands in general: We can say "Go to bed, will you?" or "Go to bed, won't you?" or even "Go to bed, why don't you?," but we usually don't.

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