Modal verbs & question tags

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by Carlaccio, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. Carlaccio Junior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Hi everybody!

    I must translate "deve stare più attenta, non credi?" and I've got some problems with the question tag.Could you tell me which is the right one please?

    "She needs to be more careful, doesn't she?"

    "She needs to be more careful, needn't she?"

    ...thanks!
     
  2. ElaineG

    ElaineG Senior Member

    Brooklyn NY
    USA/English
    I prefer "don't you think?", for "non credi?".
     
  3. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    She needs to be more careful, don't you think?

    Welcome, Carlaccio. There seems to be a speaker, plus one person being addressed, and a third being discussed.
     
  4. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    "She needs to be more careful, doesn't she?"
    or
    "She should be more careful, shouldn't she?"
    These forms are more common in British English, which is why ElaineG and lsp suggest other solutions.
     
  5. Carlaccio Junior Member

    Italy, Italian
    Thank you all! "don't you think?" sounds better for "non credi".

    Just for info: is it correct to say "needn't she?" as a question tag?
    Now I've pinned this doubt in my mind and I haven't my grammar book with me at the moment...
     
  6. lsp

    lsp Senior Member

    NY
    US, English
    No. If it said "deve stare più attenta, vero?" or similar I might have gone with your version, or Carlaccio's first suggestion. But "non credi" specifically is what swayed me.
     
  7. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    If you use "needn't" in the main sentence, you can finish with "need she?", but in your example, in the affirmative, "needs" behaves like a normal verb, so the auxiliary is "does".
    The use of "need" as an auxiliary verb is more British than American, but in any case I would avoid this construction.
     
  8. Einstein

    Einstein Senior Member

    Milano, Italia
    UK, English
    Hi Elaine. To my British way of thinking, "don't you think?" and "shouldn't she?" mean practically the same thing. Maybe it's a question of BrE and AmE.
     

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