The Tag Clause

Margie Wakeman Wells The Comma, The Semicolon Leave a Comment

A tag clause turns a statement into a question.

…You were there by 10:00, weren’t you?
…You were there by 10:00; is that right?

…You were there by 10:00, weren’t you, to see your brother?
…You were there by 10:00 — is that right? — to see your brother?

There are two kinds of tag clauses. The one that depends on the verb in the sentence takes commas. The one that has its own subject and verb is added on with a semicolon and dropped into the middle with a pair of dashes and a question mark.

Happy punctuating!

Margie

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