What's the meaning of this phrase in this following sentence, 'This is a good book. Or is it?'

As a learner of English, I've recently come across some phrases which can't be found in any of the good dictionaries. So with the meaning of this phrase, could somebody please suggest about a Source to learn all these phrases or other rare words, and most importantly to learn perfect use of Grammer?

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    The speaker is questioning the statement they have just made. Or introduces a different point of view, is it? wonders whether it is indeed a good book. Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 13:28
  • Thanks for this, and there are lot of other such phrases which I couldn't find in some good dictionaries. From where it's good to learn all these aspects of English?
    – Garry302
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 13:45
  • As you read and hear more English you will gradually learn more of the ways in which words can be used. Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 13:53
  • You are right. Thanks for help☺️
    – Garry302
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 16:13
  • "Or is it?" is an idiomatic phrase used to cast doubt on the previous statement. Or is it? (Start playing “Moon men” by Jake Chudnow) Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


"Or is it?" is an idiomatic phrase used to cast doubt on the previous statement.

Sometimes it is stated as a new sentence as in your example, or sometimes as a prefix to the statement it questions. For example, "The End... Or Is It?" is a popular 'ending trope', that is a way to conclude a fictional story in a way that seems final but leaves possibility for a future continuation.

In your example, "it's a good book" is a statement that the book is good. "Or is it?" then questions that opinion. If your example was used to begin a book review, for example, the statement that it is "good" may represent the popular opinion, and the article may go on to critically examine both the book and the widespread opinion.

  • Thank you, I got that point. If possible could you suggest any good source or book to learn advanced English Syntax? And also about this phrase, I couldn't find it any of the good dictionaries available.
    – Garry302
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 16:12
  • @Garry302 I'm a native English speaker, so I didn't learn English from a book. I think you're in the right place for advanced questions here, but I think you could have found the answer to this on Google. I can see other Q&A sites with answers to it.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Nov 20, 2019 at 21:01

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