Was the carpet ..? Wasn't the carpet ...?[disjunctive question]

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Caesats

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi everyone
1:was the carpet supposed to be cleaned before the party?
2:wasn't the carpet supposed to be cleaned before the party?
3:are you supposed to be in Australia now?
4:aren't you supposed to be in Australia now?
I want to know what the difference between 1and2 is,and difference between 3 and4
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    1 & 2 ask the listener for the same basic information. In sentence 1, the speaker really didn't know if the carpet was supposed to be cleaned or not. In sentence 2, the speaker thought that the carpet was supposed to be cleaned. The speaker is somewhat surprised that the carpet has not been cleaned.

    3 & 4 ask the listener for the same basic information. In sentence 3, the speaker really doesn't know where you are supposed to be. In sentence 4, the speaker assumes that you are supposed to be in Australia. Apparently, you are not in Australia, and the speaker is somewhat surprised.
     

    Caesats

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    1 & 2 ask the listener for the same basic information. In sentence 1, the speaker really didn't know if the carpet was supposed to be cleaned or not. In sentence 2, the speaker thought that the carpet was supposed to be cleaned. The speaker is somewhat surprised that the carpet has not been cleaned.

    3 & 4 ask the listener for the same basic information. In sentence 3, the speaker really doesn't know where you are supposed to be. In sentence 4, the speaker assumes that you are supposed to be in Australia. Apparently, you are not in Australia, and the speaker is somewhat surprised.
    Thank you
     
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