Hey all, thanks for taking the time out to read this thread - it is appreciated.

I've been attempting to solve the mistake in this sentence below for the past few days but am completely stumped as to what is actually wrong with it. My grammar books and endless searching on the internet has been fruitless. I am hoping someone here can help. This is the setence:

“Is John ill? He’s lost a lot of weight." “Yes, he is rather slender these days, isn’t he?”

So if anyone can help find the mistake then please reply.


I've never been quite sure about this--maybe you know. Should the question mark after 'isn't he' be removed? It's one of those [common] situations where the statement is really an answer, not a question, even with what looks like a question in 'isn't he'.

Oops, sorry Jim, I just noticed this is your first post. So, welcome to EnglishForward. I, myself, would like this idea of question marks answered.
Can't it be anything to do with the "is slender these days"? I'd say "he's been looking rather slender, I've found/been finding him rather slender these days".
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yes i did think this, it could be right. For the life of me though i cannot see any grammatical mistakes.

I just checked this site: http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/marks/question.htm

The only thing that may relate to your mystery sentence is the exception called 'polite request' --but I remain doubtful. If the question mark is wrong, that would consitute a grammatical error. I can see no other.

Maybe this is a riddle, and John is Johnna, a transexual, making 'he' inappropriate.
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 pieanne's reply was promoted to an answer.
Hi Jimshady,

What gave you the original idea that there was a mistake?