Say you should be at work. Would the correct answer be "yes" or "no"? The common answer would be "yes", but isn't that really saying, "yes, I should not be at work"?

  • You are taking it a bit too literally. The question is rhetorical. "Shouldn't you be at work?" is another way of saying "You should be at work, right?" the answer to which would be "Yeah, I should" which is the same answer to the original rhetorical question. Aug 9, 2016 at 21:33
  • @Ghaith Alrestom The answer to a rhetorical question is . But JDP is overthinking this, expecting idiomatic English to be logical. Aug 9, 2016 at 21:38
  • Well, would "Don't you have class?" be rhetorical? When I was in high school and on my free period, some kids would be ask me that and I would always respond, obviously with a "no". But the question technically means "Do you not have class?"
    – user190075
    Aug 9, 2016 at 21:42
  • 1
    Usually, in these cases, people will regularly clarify their answer by continuing the sentence... "Yes, I should" or "No, I shouldn't". They may even explain why they are or are not supposed to be.
    – Catija
    Aug 9, 2016 at 21:48


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