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I want to ask about two sentences, and what would be the correct way to form a question:

It's very important that we eat healthy food, ...........?

  • Which would be the correct question tag: (isn't it) or (don't we)?

It's a must that all applicants follow the rules of the competition, ..........?

  • Which would the correct question tag: (isn't it) or (don't they) or (mustn't they)?

Please could you tell me the correct answers, and, more importantly, why those are correct?

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Notice that these tag questions are rhetorical. For a question that's not intended to be answered, any old construction will do. –  John Lawler Mar 2 '13 at 22:31
    
Question tags have specific rules for their construction. If you knew those rules, you would not ask, because they are clear. You might find that our sister-site for English Language Learners is a better fit for you. –  tchrist Mar 2 '13 at 22:51
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I already know the rules and I study English at school but the problem is that the first question is from our official English book and my teacher believe that the answer is (don't we) but when i download the "Teacher guide" from the ministry site i found that the answer is (isn't it) ! The second question is not from our official English book but from another exercises book and the biggest problem is (isn't it) isn't from the options the options is only (don't they) and (mustn't they). So I only wanted to know the correct answer for the finial exam –  Sohail Mar 2 '13 at 23:21
    
And I'm sorry for not choosing the correct site I didn't know about your sister-site –  Sohail Mar 2 '13 at 23:28
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Welcome to EL&U @Sohail! I'm not sure this could be considered a textbook-worthy answer, but as a native speaker, I can tell you that for the first question, "isn't it?" is the correct question tag since it is addressing the main subject "It is important...". "Don't we?" Would be appropriate for a question like "We have to eat healthier foods, don't we?" Best of luck, I hope this helped you! :-) –  Kristina Lopez Mar 3 '13 at 0:16

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I believe that isn't it and isn't it are the right answers.

The reason is fairly simple, the question tags are (at least as far as I'm concerned) always based on subject of the main clause and in those sentences the word 'it' is the subject.

//Source: http://www.squidoo.com/summary-on-question-tag (exception #12)

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In the second question The problem is (isn't it) isn't from the options of the original question the options is only (don't they) and (mustn't they) –  Sohail Mar 2 '13 at 23:32
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If your only choice is between don't they and mustn't they, then mustn't they is the clear winner, as it is a much less wrong choice than don't they. This is because it gets the meaning correct: don't they would mean the applicants do follow the rules, while mustn't they would mean the applicants must follow the rules. The latter captures the sentence's meaning. (But it's still wrong.) –  Peter Shor Mar 3 '13 at 1:27
    
@PeterShor Thank you very much –  Sohail Mar 3 '13 at 11:04

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