Monday, June 18, 2007

Expressing Surprise and Interest

Native speakers of English often use short interrogatives in speech as a way to express attention, interest, or surprise. Study the examples below:

"The party was terrible."
"Was it?"
"Yes, I had a horrible time! There was no music!"

"Gina had a nice vacation."
"Did she?"
"Yes, she went to the Galapagos Islands."

"I've seen that movie five times already."
"Have you?"
"Yes, with my sister. She loves Harrison Ford."

"I don't understand the assignment."
"Don't you? Here, let me explain..."

Negative replies to affirmative sentences can show emphasis when someone agrees with you.

"It was a great performance."
"Wasn't it? Renee's voice was superb."

"She's gained some weight."
"Hasn't she? She must be eating better."

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