2

In the famous animation TV series Inuyasha, a character named Sango said:

So they went to find the antidote, didn't they? Inuyasha and the others.

I wonder if she said something like:

So Inuyasha and the others went to find the antidote, didn't they?

Is there any difference between the two? Also, is there any reason for sticking with the first (sentence) rather than the second (sentence).

  • 2
    Sango first pronounced the first sentence, then realized that his listeners may not know to whom exactly he refers. Sango then pronounced the second sentence to make it clearer to his listeners. – CowperKettle Sep 15 '17 at 5:34
2

The answer lies in the fact that spoken dialogue is often imperfect. To make dialogue sound realistic, writers try to capture how people really speak. You are correct that your version of the dialogue is more efficient and sensible. (And yes, your version and the actual version mean the same thing.) However, people don't usually speak in efficient, sensible ways. People forget to bring up important points; they say things out of order; they respond to subtle expressions from the listener and modify what they say according to how the words are being received. In this case, the character Sango asks a question involving certain people (they), then quickly realizes that maybe the listener doesn't even know who they are. It's little details like this that make dialogue between characters believable.

1

It's a feature of spoken language called tag or tail which is a noun phrase added at the end of the clause because speakers usually launch into their statements using a pronoun, but by the end of the clause may feel that its reference was not clear for example. So, they need to clarify matters by tacking on a noun phrase.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.