I feel this statement "you must be very hungry" seems to be very suitable for being used in a tag question.

To be honest, I feel very uncomfortable if I can't use that statement in a tag question.

It seems like that statement was born to be used in a tag question.

However, according to my research, question tags such as "mustn't he/you/we..." are very rare.

So, How do we form this statement "you must be very hungry" into a question tag?

For example, "You must be very hungry, mustn't you" but it sound unnatural.

1 Answer 1


When one says "you must be very hungry", one is saying, in effect, that one is forced to conclude (by evidence or information or how you look) that you are very hungry. It doesn't make sense to ask for confirmation from the other person that you must conclude that.

You could say "You are very hungry, aren't you?"

  • Then what about « He must be hungry, mustn’t he? » (asking other people about the hungry one) Apr 8, 2021 at 7:31
  • 2
    That seems less unnatural. You're asking another person whether they also must conclude that he is hungry. But when the question is directed at the hungry one, there's nothing about needing to conclude whether they're hungry or not - the famished knows directly about their hunger. Apr 8, 2021 at 7:45
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    It would even seem natural to say to the hungry one, "You must be very hungry, aren't you?" Saying, "I must conclude you're hungry... am I right?" Apr 8, 2021 at 7:47

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