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General Writing and Grammar Help/You studied a lot, did you?

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Question
Dear Ted:

What is the difference between the following questions?

1) You studied a lot, did you?

2) You studied a lot, didn't you?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

What is the difference between the following questions?

1) You studied a lot, did you?

*** This sentence borders on being sarcastic.  The person saying it does NOT really believe that the other person studied.  

2) You studied a lot, didn't you?

*** This sentence is sincere.  The person saying it believes that the other person actually did study.  This question is more of an affirmation than a real question.

Thank you very much for your kind help.

*** You are welcome.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

Expertise

I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

Education/Credentials
B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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