He is honest - or is he <not>?

russian80

Senior Member
Russian
What would be the difference in meaning - including the probabilities of various interpretations between "He is honest - or is he?" vs. "He is honest - or is he not?" ?
 
  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    We can't provide all of the possible interpretations of these sentences out of context, russian80. If you would like to ask about them in a particular context, please provide it, and we will be happy to help.
     

    Mozzerfan99

    Senior Member
    English - England
    He is honest - or is he? implies the person speaking has some reason to believe he is not honest. It depends on how it's said really, but it indicates some doubt.

    He is honest - or is he not? sounds a bit weird. He is honest, isn't he? sounds more like you're just asking for confirmation, but it depends on how it's said really.

    Is he honest? simply is asking whether he is honest.
     

    Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    "He is honest" is a general statement about his character. If you simply want to know whether he's telling the truth about drugs, you might ask "Is he being honest?"
     

    russian80

    Senior Member
    Russian
    He is honest - or is he? implies the person speaking has some reason to believe he is not honest. It depends on how it's said really, but it indicates some doubt.

    He is honest - or is he not? sounds a bit weird.
    How would you be led to interpret it, anyway?
     
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