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1. Mary: She will be late, won't she?

John: Yes, I think so. / No, I don't think so.

2. Mary: She won't come, will she?

John: Yes, I think so. / No, I don't think so.

I think in 1 only "yes, I think so" and in 2 only "No, I don't think so" are possible. Am I right? or all possible?
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Hi,

. Mary: She will be late, won't she?

John: Yes, I think so. / No, I don't think so.

2. Mary: She won't come, will she?

John: Yes, I think so. / No, I don't think so.

I think in 1 only "yes, I think so" Yes, they sound fine

and in 2 only "No, I don't think so" are possible. Am I right? or all possible? #2 is a 'negative question'. It's tricky to answer such things. The questioner is expecting you to agree that she won't come. If you think she will come, you might say 'Yes, I think she will come' to make your answer clear.

For a 'neutral' question, we usually ask it in the positive. eg Did you turn the stove off? This is easy to answer with 'yes' or 'no.

Consider a negative question, eg Didn't you turn the stove off? This is harded to answer with a simple yes or no. We instinctively try to avoid asking negative questions like this, and are more careful to clarify our meaning in our answer.

Best wishes, Clive
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thanks Clive. Here comes the source of my question: again a national exam in Turkey in 1990.

Yes, I think so.

A) Will Jane’s husband be there too?

B) What made him say that?

C) She won’t be late, will she?

D) If it isn’t Mary’s bicycle, whose is it?

E) Why is Mark looking so worried?

Obviously A is the correct answer but how can we explain the reason why C is not acceptable? just because A is

clearer than it?

one more thing: a "national exam" or "nationwide exam"? or what?
. . . . a national exam in Turkey in 1990.

Yes, I think so.

A) Will Jane’s husband be there too?

C) She won’t be late, will she?

Obviously A is the correct answer but how can we explain the reason why C is not acceptable? just because A is clearer than it?

The usual answer to C would be 'No, she won't (be)' or 'Yes, I think she will (be)'.

If you want to use '. . think so ...', you could say 'No, I don't think so'. The negative answer suits the negative question. It's obvious that you are agreeing with the speaker's expectation.

The answer 'Yes, I think so' is discordant with the negative aspect of the question. It doesn't 'fit well'. It's not obvious whether you are agreeing or disagreeing.

one more thing: a "national exam" or "nationwide exam"? or what? I think the normal thing would be a nationwide exam. This stresses that the exam is 'done' all across the nation. A national exam might be an important exam that you must travel to Istanbul to 'do'.

Best wishes, Clive
thanks . it was so illuminating.
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