"Oh, you know Quirrell already, do you?

-- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling

There is a tag question that hasn’t negation thought the matrix is an affirmative. Is it ungrammatical or is it acceptable?

  • I believe that it's perfectly fine, especially in spoken English. To me, it sounds like someone said "Oh, you know Quirrell already," and the she realized that what she said might not be true, thus quickly added "do you?". – Damkerng T. Nov 28 '13 at 11:29
  • 2
    On an aside, you might want to know that "There is a tag question that hasn’t negation" isn't grammatical or idiomatic English. A native would say "There is a tag question that isn't negated" or perhaps "There is a tag question that hasn’t got a negation". – Matt Nov 28 '13 at 19:34

Here is how I may take this case as.

Certainly, the matrix is an affirmative. But then it's from the asker's perspective. The asker is pretty sure about the answerer knowing Quirrell. But then, the asker is again confirming it.

Let us take an example. You live in Paris and I visit your home as your friend cum tourist. For me, it's quite obvious that you (being a citizen of Paris) must have visited The Eiffel Tower. I then ask you this:

"Oh, you have already visited the Eiffel Tower, haven't you?"

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