negative question adverb

negative question adverb

There are a number of overlapping points when it comes to negative questions in the English Grammar Profile.  At a purely formal level, we can identify an adverb position in a negative question to identify B2, but at usage level, some of these would be considered rhetorical or persuasive strategies found at the more advanced C1 level.

Point 93 in CLAUSES is defined as:

negative interrogative clauses with an adverb in mid-position, between the subject and the main verb.

In the EGP examples, only two adverbs are given: ‘ever’ and ‘always’ which are both very rare.  On iWeb, we realise this whole structure is surrounded by a large range of very basic vocabulary and the only two common other adverbs that qualify for this structure are ‘rather’ and the most common by far: ‘just’.  This point is not academic.  This is probably because we tend not to ask questions in essays.

Finding a noun in the structure was not possible.  But a search on iWeb for _xx* _p* _r* _v* produced:

1 N’T YOU JUST LOVE 1376

This cluster in the COCA reveals that is used mostly in the entertainment context.

 

2 N’T YOU JUST HATE 450, 3 N’T IT JUST BE 357, 4 N’T YOU JUST USE 340, 5 N’T YOU JUST GO 331, 6 N’T YOU JUST GET 307, 7 N’T I JUST USE 250, 8 N’T YOU JUST SAY 244

9 N’T YOU RATHER HAVE 220

‘wouldn’t you rather have’ is not found in academic writing at all.

10 N’T YOU JUST TAKE 206, 11 N’T YOU JUST DO 199, 12 N’T WE JUST HAVE 184, 13 N’T YOU JUST SEE 173, 14 N’T YOU JUST TELL 161, 15 N’T YOU JUST MAKE 160, 16 N’T WE JUST GO 158, 17 N’T WE JUST GET 158, 18 N’T YOU JUST PUT 155, 19 N’T YOU RATHER BE 155, 20 N’T WE JUST DO 155, 21 N’T YOU JUST LEAVE 151, 22 N’T YOU JUST GIVE 142, 23 N’T YOU JUST HAVE 140, 24 N’T YOU JUST WANT 137

25 N’T IT ALSO BE 137

*too rare in COCA

 

26 N’T YOU JUST BE 136, 27 N’T WE JUST USE 135, 28 N’T YOU JUST BUY 135, 29 N’T THEY JUST MAKE 133, 30 N’T YOU JUST LET 132, 31 N’T THEY JUST SAY 125, 32 N’T I JUST GET 116, 33 N’T I JUST DO 116, 34 N’T YOU JUST ASK 114, 35 N’T YOU JUST TRY 108, 36 N’T WE JUST MAKE 102, 37 N’T I JUST BE 102, 38 N’T I JUST GO 101, 39 N’T THEY JUST USE 99, 40 N’T YOU JUST CALL 97, 41 N’T WE JUST SAY 96, 42 N’T THEY JUST DO 96, 43 N’T THEY JUST GET 95

44 N’T YOU EVER SEEN 94

45 N’T WE JUST BE 94, 46 N’T I JUST BUY 92, 47 N’T YOU JUST COME 91, 48 N’T THEY JUST HAVE 91

 

 

*Noticeably, most the examples seem rhetorical, and depending on the context, some of them might be classified under another EGP point that is more advanced at C1.

It is point 33 in the category of PRESENT simple:

negative question form as a persuasion strategy.

Formally, this is hard to distinguish from A2 also.

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