The Free Dictionary  
mailing list For webmasters
Welcome Guest Forum Search | Active Topics | Members

I'll order a pizza, shall I? - is this correct? Options
woj
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 8:34:15 AM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/5/2012
Posts: 7
Neurons: 10,715
Solving some english exercises recently, I've encountered odd, well, at least to me, construction. I had to write a sentence being given the following words: (I / order) a pizza, shall I? and the answer was: "I will order a pizza, shall I"? Is this right? My answer was: "I shan't order a pizza, shall I" and I admit following standard question tags rules here. Could anybody cast some light on this problem, please?
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 11:48:08 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 8,158
Neurons: 43,559
woj wrote:
Solving some english exercises recently, I've encountered odd, well, at least to me, construction. I had to write a sentence being given the following words: (I / order) a pizza, shall I? and the answer was: "I will order a pizza, shall I"? Is this right? My answer was: "I shan't order a pizza, shall I" and I admit following standard question tags rules here. Could anybody cast some light on this problem, please?


If the answer was: "I will order a pizza, shall I"?, it seems a very strange answer to me. As I read the construction, it seemed to me that, since a question mark is present, a question should be asked, choosing between the two words in parentheses.

I would have formed the question like this: "Shall I order a pizza?" The order that is suggested as correct seems very wrong as it makes a statement, then reorders it as a question. No one I know would use this wording.

Edit: Your answer: "I shan't order a pizza, shall I" indicates you thought both words had to be used. Was this your understanding of the instructions?


A great many people will think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~ William James ~
woj
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:14:09 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/5/2012
Posts: 7
Neurons: 10,715
FounDit wrote:

If the answer was: "I will order a pizza, shall I"?, it seems a very strange answer to me. As I read the construction, it seemed to me that, since a question mark is present, a question should be asked, choosing between the two words in parentheses.

I would have formed the question like this: "Shall I order a pizza?" The order that is suggested as correct seems very wrong as it makes a statement, then reorders it as a question. No one I know would use this wording.

Edit: Your answer: "I shan't order a pizza, shall I" indicates you thought both words had to be used. Was this your understanding of the instructions?

a) here's an exact instruction: "write a short phrase using will, be going to, present simple or present continuous on the line to complete each sentence"

b) yes - as implied by a) - all words have to be used
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:45:11 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,068
Neurons: 25,548
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
woj wrote:
Solving some english exercises recently, I've encountered odd, well, at least to me, construction. I had to write a sentence being given the following words: (I / order) a pizza, shall I? and the answer was: "I will order a pizza, shall I"? Is this right? My answer was: "I shan't order a pizza, shall I" and I admit following standard question tags rules here. Could anybody cast some light on this problem, please?


It's correct, but it's right naff, innit?

It sounds rather odd to me as well.

Ordering a pizza is not rocket surgery (that is an intentional pun on "brain surgery" and "rocket science").

"I'd like to order a pizza."

"Would you like some beer with that?" Dancing



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
DavidL
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 12:59:49 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/31/2011
Posts: 212
Neurons: 655

What is being overlooked, in terms of the prescribed words, is that there is no 'not'.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 1:07:35 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,597
Neurons: 38,384
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Woj - this kind of construction is called a tag question, as I'm sure you know. It's a very common way of forming questions: - in order not to appear rude by making a flat statement, we soften with a question.

I'm somewhat astounded to read Foundit's post in which he says he's not familiar with tag questions and that no-one he knows speaks this way...but I guess this just shows yet another instance where American English differs.

Tag questions are part of standard English courses in China and certainly comprise part of the IELTS, and other English-testing exams.

It's the same construction as one uses to say things like: -

'She's very pretty, isn't she?'
'You like ice-cream, don't you?'

As you can see from the use of apostrophe's, what is actually being said is: 'She IS very pretty, is not she?' (is she not?)
'You like ice-cream do not you?' (Do you not?)

I don't know why, in the development of the language, tag questions reverse the usual order of: is she not/is not she? and; do you not/do not you?

Where your question is incorrect is that the question would ordinarily be 'I'll order a pizza, shall I?'. 'I'll' can stand for either I will or I shall in modern English. Having written 'I will' then the tag should be 'will I?'. However, as the tag is 'shall I/' the question should be 'I'll (I shall) order a pizza.' So actually (as is not unusual in Chinese text books) the person who wrote the question and answer has made a mistake.

Your answer, however, turning positive 'I shall' into negative 'I shan't' is, unfortunately also incorrect.

For more information on this Google "Tag questions ESL" and you should get quite a lot of results from English language-teaching/learning sites if you are still unclear.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 1:35:36 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,068
Neurons: 25,548
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Romany wrote:

I'm somewhat astounded to read Foundit's post in which he says he's not familiar with tag questions and that no-one he knows speaks this way...but I guess this just shows yet another instance where American English differs.


The difference is not the awareness, but rather the context.

Conversationally tag questions lubricate the interaction among strangers. In the context of ordering a meal, not so much.



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
woj
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 2:12:53 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 6/5/2012
Posts: 7
Neurons: 10,715
Thanks for all answers.

The exercise comes from Mann and Taylore-Knowles's book "Destination C1 & C2. Grammar & vocabulary with answer key" edited by MACMILLAN. It is exercise C.11 from unit 5, and the answer is "I will order a pizza, shall I?".

From what you have written I conclude this is either a seldom used construction or simply an error in answer key.
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 2:20:29 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,068
Neurons: 25,548
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
woj wrote:
Thanks for all answers.

The exercise comes from Mann and Taylore-Knowles's book "Destination C1 & C2. Grammar & vocabulary with answer key" edited by MACMILLAN. It is exercise C.11 from unit 5, and the answer is "I will order a pizza, shall I?".

From what you have written I conclude this is either a seldom used construction or simply an error in answer key.


It is a construction that is frequently used in conversation. It is not a construction frequently used when ordering a pizza.



"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 2:22:50 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,597
Neurons: 38,384
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Hmmm, well perhaps Chinese text books aren't the only ones to make mistakes?

Leon - Oh. I didn't think of it in the context of ordering a meal, believe it or not. I was thinking more along the lines of: -
'Hey, it's ten minutes till the Games start on TV'
'Well, I'll go and pick up the beer.'
'I'll order a pizza shall I?'

or
'Gawd, I don't feel like cooking tonight.'
'I'll order a pizza then, shall I?'
leonAzul
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 2:25:55 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,068
Neurons: 25,548
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Romany wrote:
Hmmm, well perhaps Chinese text books aren't the only ones to make mistakes?

Leon - Oh. I didn't think of it in the context of ordering a meal, believe it or not. I was thinking more along the lines of: -
'Hey, it's ten minutes till the Games start on TV'
'Well, I'll go and pick up the beer.'
'I'll order a pizza shall I?'

or
'Gawd, I don't feel like cooking tonight.'
'I'll order a pizza then, shall I?'


So maybe it's my turn to muck up and misunderstand the context. Whistle


"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
IMcRout
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 2:39:22 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/27/2011
Posts: 33,714
Neurons: 467,166
Location: Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Let's share that pizza, shall we?

I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger. (Anon)
Hope2
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 3:17:03 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 4,909
Neurons: 16,769
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Not exactly on topic, but close. (The question has already been ably answered and tag questions explained, eh what?)

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/the-difference-between-will-and-shall/

Will can imply volition or intention, while shall can imply necessity, although it used to be shall for the first person, will for the second and third. Only us old fogies still follow that rule here.


"Here’s a frequently quoted joke that illustrates the consequences of using shall and will incorrectly:

A foreign tourist was swimming in an English lake. Taken by cramps, he began to sink. He called out for help: “Attention! Attention! I will drown and no one shall save me!”

Many people were within earshot, but, being well-brought up Englishmen and women, they honored his wishes and permitted him to drown."


::::::


Hope1 is feeling much better and has morphed into Hope2. She still likes a joke.



Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
martyg
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 4:02:41 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/2/2009
Posts: 327
Neurons: 2,386
simple american conversation:

i'll order a pizza.
Jyrkkä Jätkä
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 5:20:38 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/21/2009
Posts: 38,662
Neurons: 273,736
Location: Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
With simple American style ;-)


In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.
Romany
Posted: Sunday, July 29, 2012 10:53:52 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,597
Neurons: 38,384
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Oh, I'm Soooo glad to see that hope has returned to the forum!!

Welcome back Hope2 - I DID wonder when I saw the name. We've really missed you.
almostfreebird
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 12:10:21 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 4/22/2011
Posts: 2,820
Neurons: 7,024
Location: Japan
Romany wrote:
Hmmm, well perhaps Chinese text books aren't the only ones to make mistakes?

Leon - Oh. I didn't think of it in the context of ordering a meal, believe it or not. I was thinking more along the lines of: -
'Hey, it's ten minutes till the Games start on TV'
'Well, I'll go and pick up the beer.'
'I'll order a pizza shall I?'

or
'Gawd, I don't feel like cooking tonight.'
'I'll order a pizza then, shall I?'




What is Gawd?


leonAzul
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 2:09:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/2011
Posts: 8,068
Neurons: 25,548
Location: Miami, Florida, United States
Romany wrote:
Oh, I'm Soooo glad to see that hope has returned to the forum!!

Welcome back Hope2 - I DID wonder when I saw the name. We've really missed you.


Yes, it was no fun being 'hope-less' all that time…
Angel

"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
thar
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 3:27:00 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,648
Neurons: 62,505
Romany wrote:

Where your question is incorrect is that the question would ordinarily be 'I'll order a pizza, shall I?'. 'I'll' can stand for either I will or I shall in modern English. Having written 'I will' then the tag should be 'will I?'. However, as the tag is 'shall I/' the question should be 'I'll (I shall) order a pizza.' So actually (as is not unusual in Chinese text books) the person who wrote the question and answer has made a mistake.


If I may join in at this late point - I see a problem here, although maybe not intentionally.

I agree with all the above about the tag question
I'll order a pizza, shall I?
and the most natural initial statement is
I will order a pizza.
to me, this sounds much more natural, on its own, than
I shall order a pizza- (I mean, who here has said that recently??)
but, to me the tag question 'will I? sounds wrong, because in colloquial English it means ' are you forcing me to do that?'
So, I will order a pizza, will I? And how are you going to make me do that?

the natural simple question uses 'shall' not 'will'
Shall I order a pizza?
Is that what I should do? Is it a good idea, are we all in agreement?
whereas
Will I order a pizza?
is a question 'will it happen? Will I order it, yes or no?

so the tag question sounds wrong with 'will', right with 'shall'
I'll order a pizza, will I? - Are you going to force me to?
I'll order a pizza, shall I? - Are we agreed that is a good idea?

the trouble comes when you put those together, and get
I'll order a pizza, shall I?
expanded to
I will order a pizza, shall I?
which looks and sounds a bit odd, but better than the alternative 'will I'

I know this is more complex and colloquial than was intended by the author, so I do agree it was more likely a mistake, but still, the 'correct' sentence as stated sounds wrong to me, too!!

'Will' and 'shall' have different meanings: will is 'intent' (I will order), shall is asking for agreement (should I?). So, I think you would naturally use both here, in colloquial speech. But the 'I will' would always be contracted to I'll, so there would be no problem with the 'changing' of the tag question to 'shall' .

But, I agree, not in a learner's textbook exercise on tag questions!!
Romany
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 6:10:54 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,597
Neurons: 38,384
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Right, Thar - my bad there as, on re-reading, I can see how it sounded as though I meant one should say 'I shall....'. But the point I was trying to make was that with 'shall I' as the tag, one would have to say 'Shall I' to be grammatically correct.

You're right that it would be unusual to hear "I shall order a pizza...". I would also point out however, that it would be unusual to hear "I will order a pizza...". I mean, seriously, who ever says that? Well, apart from non-native speakers?

I've made the point before, but as the context has arisen, will say it again: -

English elides. It's how we speak. NO-ONE says 'It is a great day' or 'I am going to the shop' or 'I will order a pizza' - unless we are emphasising it for a particular reason. I know that many years ago it used to be said that while one spoke with elided vowels and consonants (and sometimes entire words and phrases) when one wrote it one had to write it in the full form...which always seemed pretty daft to me.

But now that, finally, the way we write has come more into line with the way we speak, I can't understand WHY many English text-books continue in this outdated tradition (She said, turning red in the face and jumping up and down). The confusion it causes English learners is huge. Students who are perfectly able to read and understand their textbooks find they don't understand when a native speaker opens their mouths because of it. Which is discouraging and confusing for them.

(I also remember how I used to dislike getting letters from certain people whom I loved dearly, but who, when they wrote to me, sounded like complete stilted prats and not like the persons I knew and loved at all!!)

AND....if the person who wrote this exercise had written 'I'll' none of us would be here arguing the toss!

And so endeth the lesson. For now.Anxious
thar
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 6:28:34 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 15,648
Neurons: 62,505
@Romany - I agree about natural speech, but surely (to play devil's advocate): learners need correct written English, especially if their first exposure is formal business communication, or written communication, eg for foreign study. It may sound stilted but at least is still understandable. If you learn all the contractions in natural speech, you have to learn all the words again (eg 'll - then the 'll word for the tag question!) for use in other circumstances, and for formal writing. It just seems like twice as much work. Note, I am not really suggesting that is preferable, just sympathising that with spoken English and formally written English (SE/FE?) English does make life difficult (as well as the expectations of examination systems)!
Romany
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 7:05:27 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 12,597
Neurons: 38,384
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom
Oh, sure, I'm not saying they shouldn't be taught that I've means I have etc. These are the very building blocks of English. But there should be an end to this 'NEVER write contractions.'

Just riding hell for leather on one of my hobby horses again, mate. Giving them their regular exercise. It's one of the biggest stumbling blocks I come across with my students - whose confidence is pretty low to begin with; then, when they find they can't understand the very language they've been studying for years the minute its spoken, some of them lose heart completely.
Hope2
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 12:58:16 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 4,909
Neurons: 16,769
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The typical Canadiense would have said 'I'm going to order a pizza. OK? The usual? (Or in speech in a hurry - gonna - but I hope that never becomes acceptable in written language.)

The exercise question should be thrown out as no answer makes sense except for the contraction, as Romany says. (We might, but probably would not, even say 'I'm going to order a pizza, shall II? They did have the choice of 'going to'.) The book was probably written by a non native speaker?

As for writing contractions, after everyone owns a tablet where you have to either access the apostrophe by shifting to a secondary keyboard, or holding the comma down to make the apostrophe, perhaps the use of the full words will reappear in written English. I find it much easier to type 'cannot' than to diddle with the contraction. Just a thought. Anxious

As for ESL students, I think the Conversational Class with grammar thrown in and explained, is the way to go. I taught myself all the Spanish grammar from various sources and can read quite a bit, but until I had some practice with native speakers, I had no idea how to converse fluently, and probably never will now.

:::

Thanks for the welcome back, Romany and Leon!

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
Hope2
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 1:40:25 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/6/2012
Posts: 4,909
Neurons: 16,769
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Canadian! Not the Spanish! Shame on you

Most of the trouble in the world is caused by people wanting to be important. T. S. Eliot
russian70
Posted: Saturday, July 15, 2017 12:24:02 PM
Rank: Newbie

Joined: 7/15/2017
Posts: 1
Neurons: 25
from Woolly and Tig, Series 2, ep 13 (The Hat):

- 'I wanted my hat back.'
- Well, your hat's gone, Tig. Do you know what? I'll get you another one, will I?


The question is: why didn't she put "shall I?"
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, July 15, 2017 11:03:05 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 26,710
Neurons: 144,725
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
russian70 wrote:
from Woolly and Tig, Series 2, ep 13 (The Hat):

- 'I wanted my hat back.'
- Well, your hat's gone, Tig. Do you know what? I'll get you another one, will I?


The question is: why didn't she put "shall I?"

Hello russian70. Welcome to the forum.

There is a lot of history behind the use of 'shall' and 'will'.
This is a small part of what the American Heritage Dictionary says about it on this page:

Usage Note: The traditional rules for using 'shall' and 'will' prescribe a highly complicated pattern of use in which the meanings of the forms change according to the person of the subject. . .
The English and some traditionalists about usage are probably the only people who follow these rules and then not with perfect consistency. In America, people who try to adhere to them run the risk of sounding pretentious or haughty.
Americans normally use 'will' to express most of the senses reserved for 'shall' in English usage.


Even that note is rather out-of-date.
Most people in England do not know the traditional rules of when to use 'shall'.
"Will" is usually used for both.

****************
On the original subject of tag-questions.
In various conversations and bits of study, I have found that several languages use this as the standard way to ask a question (not as a tag question).
Speak with any Irish or Welsh person who grew up with Gaelic-speakers and you will notice questions like "You're going shopping, are you?" or even "You're going shopping, isn't it?"

Chinese has a similar form - it is a simple added syllable 'ma':
你 喜欢 咖啡 。 statement
Nǐ xǐhuan kāfēi.
You like coffee

你 喜欢 咖啡 吗? question
Nǐ xǐhuan kāfēi ma?
Do you like coffee?

but:

你 喜欢 咖啡, 是 吗 ? tag question
Nǐ xǐhuan kāfēi, shi ma?
You like coffee, don't you?

**************
If that original question is from a Chinese text-book of English, who knows?
The original idea of the writer could have been "Shall I order a pizza?" or "I'll order a pizza, OK?"


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
Users browsing this topic
Guest


Forum Jump
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Main Forum RSS : RSS
Forum Terms and Guidelines. Copyright © 2008-2017 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.