Tag question - Aren't I a good boy?

superann

Member
Mandarin and Taiwan
I saw a sentence which is confusing me:

Aren't I a good boy?

Why is there any sentence like this?
Shouldn't it be "Am I not a good boy?"

Also, can it be reverted to something like "Are I not a good boy?"

Thank you!
 
  • sweetpotatoboy

    Senior Member
    English, UK (London)
    This is just an oddity in English.

    You can certainly say "Am I not?" just as you can say "Are you not?".

    But in English we like to contract these forms.

    "Aren't you?", "Isn't he?", etc.

    But I guess "Amn't" sounds odd, so it becomes "Aren't".
     
    I don't know the grammar of it, but "Are I not a good boy" doesn't work. "Am I not a good boy?" you can say, but since it's informal without a contraction, it sounds a bit weird.

    Aren't I a good boy? is asking for conformation that he is good. He apparently believes he is being unfairly punished and trying to say he's good so that he can get out of it.
     

    Jigoku no Tenshi

    Senior Member
    Venezuela-Castellano
    I think this one is wrong, but I know a way to make it works

    I am a good boy, aren't I?

    You can say it's the same, but as a not native speaker I was told by my teahers that in Tag questions or Attached question, with "I am" you should use "aren't I" because there's no "amn't I"(well there is in Irish English but not in Standar English), so it is right saying "aren't I" in this case, but in the original sentence you gave, I'd say it's wrong, althought I'd choose saying "Ain't I a good boy?" but that's not totally right but it doesn't sound wrong either

    If I'm wrong about tag questions, just let me know it so I can ask for my money back

    I hope it helps
     
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