0

I think we can say:

Technology XY doesn't work with batteries, does it?

to ask the other person for confirmation / to ask if you're correct or not.

But how to do the same with a sentence with cannot:

This device cannot communicate with the protocol Y, can it?

Is this ending "can it" correct? I rarely here it.

Meaning I'm looking for: "it cannot communicate with ..., please correct me if I'm wrong"

  • Why would you not be able to use "can it" in this sense? – Hot Licks Sep 15 '17 at 21:23
  • @HotLicks I don't know, but I think I never heard anyone saying "... cannot ..., can it?" – Basj Sep 15 '17 at 21:56
  • That's probably because they would use "can't" in informal use. – Simon B Sep 15 '17 at 22:13
  • it's not about the first part cannot / can't, but more the end "can it?" that I did not know if it's used on everyday oral language or not? – Basj Sep 15 '17 at 22:16
  • It is indeed part of everyday language. There's a stackexchange called ELL that might be useful to you. – rjpond Sep 15 '17 at 22:44
1

Dealing with does it vs. doesn't it or can it vs. can't it can be problematic, since different languages handle negation differently.

Another option when trying to confirm a statement is:

Technology XY doesn't work with batteries, right?
This device cannot communicate with the protocol Y, right?

Outside of formal contexts this should be OK.

2

The ending "can it?" is completely correct in this case, and its meaning is exactly what you're looking for.

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