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What is the question tag that can be added to the following sentence?

I used to swim in the Tilak tank.

This is question from an MCQ test whose options were

  1. did I?
  2. would I?
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@Downvoter: What is wrong with the question? Please , suggest ? – Bhushan Firake Dec 28 '12 at 18:20
I am not the downvoter, but having additional information available only in a comment on an answer is very poor form. If it's a multiple-choice question from a test, you should include the choices in your question and preferably specify where the question comes from. – Hellion Dec 28 '12 at 21:08
The question as posted is incomplete. Please edit to provide context and show your efforts at research. – MετάEd Dec 28 '12 at 22:18
@MετάEd The question seems self-contained. Perhaps it wasn't. – Kris Dec 29 '12 at 5:56
@BhushanFirake Thank you for adding context; please also show your efforts at research. Doing your own research – and including the results of your efforts in the question – is a courtesy to the experts who will be trying to help you. – MετάEd Dec 29 '12 at 17:03
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I used to swim in the Tilak tank, didn't I?

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Actually, it's a multiple choice question and all options are a]did I? b]would I? Both of them are affirmative...can you explain , how you separate out did from "used to"? used to itself is an auxiliary verb...right? – Bhushan Firake Dec 28 '12 at 18:16
I used to swim in the Tilak tank, did I? is a possible English sentence. It might, for example, follow a comment by a parent reminiscing about what a child used to do. Used to is a semi-modal verb. – Barrie England Dec 28 '12 at 18:31
@Bhushan Firake: I don't think there are any contexts where "would I?" could be a valid "question tag" for your example. The only difference between "didn't I?" and "did I?" is that the second is a (relatively unlikely) way of implying the speaker either disbelieves or is/would be surprised by an affirmative answer. Feasibly it might have been possible to say "usen't I?" a long time ago, but you certainly can't do that today. – FumbleFingers Dec 28 '12 at 18:36
@BhushanFirake Look here for some rules for how to construct traditional question tags in English, including accounting for negatives and auxiliaries. Note that some speakers also use simpler tags like “eh?” or “right?”, or even just “ok?” at the ends of their statements; “you know?” can be an all-purpose question tag in some speakers. – tchrist Dec 29 '12 at 10:00
@tchrist:But all auxiliaries are not dealt there... – Bhushan Firake Dec 29 '12 at 11:49

I agree with Barrie England's answer. I am only going to explain why the correct question tag for the given statement is didn't I?

In the sentence "I used to swim in the Tilak tank", used to is not functioning as an auxiliary verb because to goes with the verb swim making it an infinitive leaving used as the only finite verb in the sentence. Hence there is a need for an auxiliary verb and did is required in this case since used is in the past tense.

And because the statement is affirmative, the question tag should be negative. That's how didn't I? becomes the correct question tag.

For more on question tags, please refer to the link provided by tchrist in the comments above. It's a good one.

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