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Can you tell me which of the following sentences is correct? why?

a) He is too young to go to school, is he?

b) He is too young to go to school, isn't he?

  • I would use the latter. – Ali Jun 25 '13 at 9:42
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    Flora: You might want to check out the relatively new English Language Learners. – J.R. Jun 25 '13 at 10:35
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Both are correct, but there a difference in meaning

The first suggests that you are challenging a statement from someone else "He is too young to go to school"

The second, that you are seeking confirmation for the initial statement.

  • "challenging a statement" -> Do you mean that someone else said "He is too young to go to school" and I repeat the exact same sentence and only add "is he"? Wouldn't it be more natural just to say "Is he?" or "Really?". Or did I misunderstand you? – Em1 Jun 25 '13 at 10:01
  • I think it's the other way around – user57234 Jun 25 '13 at 10:07
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    @axrwkr I think you're reading it the wrong way round. The assertion is that "He is too young to go to school, is he?" is the challenge (which I agree with). – TrevorD Jun 25 '13 at 10:41
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    @Em1: Yes, but the statement isn't parroted back – it's said in a different way. For example, if the first person blandly said, "He is too young to go to school," then the challenger would respond with, "Oh, he's too young to go to school, is he?" with fairly heavy emphasis on where I've bolded the words. It's a variant of, "Oh, you think he's too young to go to school – do you?" – J.R. Jun 25 '13 at 11:03
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    @J.R. I see. That makes sense. Thanks for clarification. - I think, user46665, it would be nice to make this more obvious in your answer. – Em1 Jun 25 '13 at 11:46

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