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  1. Isn't there a discount for ordering in bulk?

(A) Yes, but very few.
(B) No, none whatsoever.
(C) No, it isn't.

This question appears in my test, and I'm confused with the answer because I thought the right answer is c but then it is wrong. Why it is wrong?

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  • "tag questions" normally reflect the actual form of the preceding real question. So in your case, the idiomatically natural responses are No, there isn't or Yes, there is. But it's a stupid test, because if the answerer specifically wanted to make the point that although there are "some discounts" (plural), he can't naturally reflect the form of the question as asked (and obviously the questioner can't know in advance whether he should be asking about the possibility of a discount, or multiple discounts). Jan 27, 2020 at 15:55
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    What was the indicated correct answer?
    – puppetsock
    Jan 27, 2020 at 16:06

1 Answer 1

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Short answer: using the form of answer C, the correct grammar would be: "No, there isn't."

The presence of the term "is there" in the question means it is asking whether a discount exists. The correct response should use the same "is there" form to affirm or reject the existence, or perhaps a similar phrase. "No, none whatsoever." is such a similar phrase.

The phrase: "No, it isn't." is used to say the object (it) is not something. For example:

Is the discount available today?
No, it isn't.

The response is actually short for "No it isn't available today." Because the question does not ask whether the discount is something, but asks whether it exists, the answer cannot merely be "No it isn't."

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