2

Instead of saying:

  1. "It's only you who have that book, isn't it?"

can we say,

  1. "Isn't it only you who have that book?"
3

You could. However, both of those variants sound rather stiff and old-fashioned to my ear. Today, a more conversational wording would be "It's only you that has that book, isn't it?"

  • Thank you. However, can we use "has" as the verb? I mean, the verb doesn't agree with the subject "you", does it? – user97140 Nov 9 '14 at 5:39
  • No, in terms of formal grammar it doesn't agree. However, in an informal conversational context, the alternative wording I supplied is perfectly acceptable. I'd go so far as to say that to use have there would actually strike a false note. – Erik Kowal Nov 9 '14 at 6:35
  • It's perfectly fine and it's formal. Have would be incorrect. This is a cleft sentence and you is not the subject; it's the predicate noun. – John Lawler in exile Nov 9 '14 at 9:15
  • 1
    I would probably say "You're the only one who has that book, aren't you?" – 200_success Nov 9 '14 at 10:48
  • We have a dedicated question for that. Any follow-up discussion not related to the question at hand should be taken there. – RegDwigнt Nov 9 '14 at 18:44

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