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Can someone help me out?

"They had searched for the lost city, but they hadn't found it, ...?"

What is the tag question for the above statement?
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yen75

Hi, can someone help me with this...

"They had searched for the lost city, but they hadn't found it, ...?"

What is the correct answer for the question tag?

Hi Yen,

Welcome to the forums.

"They had searched for the lost city, but they hadn't found it, had they?"

Although are you sure you want past perfect? Compare: They have searched for the last city, but they haven't found it (yet), have they?
Thanks. Yeah, I agree with you on the tense. Actually I got the statement from a colleague of mine. Anyway, could you perhaps refer me to any website or materials for more detailed explanation on tag questions for sentences such as the above?
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Oh, and one more thing. What if the comma is omitted? Would there be a difference in the tag?
yen75Oh, and one more thing. What if the comma is omitted? Would there be a difference in the tag?
No difference - and don't leave out the comma either! Tag questions are easy. These rules will help you out:
Positive - negative:
You saw him, didn't you?
He can swim, can't he?
Negative - positive:
You didn't see him, did you?

You can't swim, can you?
Let's - shall we:
Let's go out, shall we?
Imperative - will/won't you:
Come here, will/won't you?
CB
Actually, that's not what I mean. The original question is: "They had searched for the lost city, but they hadn't found it, ...?" (Please don't mind the tense nor the answer:had been, been discussed already.) Tell the truth, I am just confirming my own answer. Coz I have got a colleague who insisted that the answer should be HADN'T IT. I am trying to find a valid note supporting my argument - that the correct answer is "had they". And I am wondering if the comma in the sentence (thus, "They had searched for the lost city but they hadn't found it, ...?) is omitted would change the answer. If you could refer me to any site which can give me more examples of such compound sentences using tag questions, it would be very helpful to convince my colleague further. Thanks a lot.
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Yen, you're colleague should take longer lunch breaks.

First, don't remove the comma. It does affectn't the tag aspect at all, but it's generally accepted to put a comma before the conjunction when you have two independent clauses. Even if you omit it, there's no resulting change to the tag.

The tag works with the final part of the sentence: THEY hadn't found it. As explained in the very solid post above, if you have a negative, you keep the same subject, and switch to postive. They hadn't, had they?

The subject is THEY, not IT, so the tag requires THEY. Your colleague's answer would work only with "but IT had never been found, had it?"

Just point out the logic of this - the tag must agree with the subject. "It" is not the subject.
Ehm... on the part of HADN'T IT, I should've typed HADN'T THEY (mistake on my part! sheepish)

Thanks for the explanation. I believe I can convince her. Just to clear things up, in short, if we have two independent clauses, the tag should follow the final part. Correct?

What if we have one main clause followed by one or more sub clause(s), the tag should follow the main clause, right? Such as:

"They will come here if they have some spare time, won't they?"
Yes, tag the main clause, and tag the last part of two independent clauses.

Note that in actual speech, sometimes we end up stringing too many things together, and by the time you're done, you or your listener no longer remember the main clause, causing your listener to say something like, "Wait, they hadn't what? Yeah, I mean, no, they haven't found it."
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