Increase your word power with Purland’s Word of the Day!
Are you haughty? Do you know anybody who is haughty? Let’s hope not!
A haughty person is somebody who is proud and arrogant and acts in a disdainful and stuck-up manner. You get the feeling that they think they’re much better than you – and everybody else, for that matter.
If you are haughty you believe you are superior, but in reality you are just too big for your boots – you have too high an opinion of yourself and could be described as vain or even an egomaniac!
If you know anybody who is haughty – or if you are haughty – please tell us about it in the comments below!
‘Terry’s boss is so haughty. She storms around the office all day barking orders at people. It’s really not on!’
abstract noun: haughtiness
opposite adjectives: humble, unassuming
sounds like: naughty (in British English), body (in American English)
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Statement – usually short – plus question tag, with a question mark.
They are often used in spoken English.
In many languages (e.g. Polish) we can use the equivalent of …yes? In English we can say: yes, yeah, right (Am/E), OK, got it, understand, but the tone can be rude and confrontational/angry; too direct; English is not a direct language; it sounds like an order, and we don’t like direct orders. (In Polish, use tak for checking and no nie or nie prawda for small talk (but this sounds old fashioned – old people say this), or no tag.)
We can use any auxiliary verbs, including modal auxiliary verbs. Present simple can be confusing – you have to choose DO/DOES or BE. Also past simple: DID or WAS/WERE. We use contractions; in rhetorical speech we can say, Is it not? Were we not? etc.
It is not as common with pronoun I. I’m… aren’t I? (This is an oddity – we can’t say am not I? amn’t I? There is no contraction for am not.)
We can use them to sound sarcastic, e.g. ‘That was a great film, wasn’t it?’ My descending tone shows that I believe the opposite – it was not a great film.
They are more difficult to use than they look – because of the thought process…
The thought process of using question tags:
Realise what tense it is
e.g. They’re meeting at ten, aren’t they? (present continuous)
Realise what pronoun is used (e.g. two names become they) and match it
They … they
Is it a singular or plural subject? They = plural
Positive – negative; negative (even without not, e.g. never) – positive; do the opposite
They’re meeting… = positive, so the question tag has to be negative: …aren’t they
Match the auxiliary verb – are > aren’t
Understand the context: need info or checking/making small talk; intonation differs:
we are asking a question; we want an answer: information – voice goes up