As it's written in the title, I want to ask if my sentence sounds correct.

Let them wreak havoc again, shan't we?

If I read that sentence, that doesn't sound like an imperative sentence, I believe. That's why I have my doubt about determining the appropriate question tag (Discussions about the question tag of Let's I'd read, led me into "shall we" which is an imperative sentence).

I had chosen "don't we" at first but I thought "shan't we" would be OK. Is my sentence correct, by the way?

  • 2
    It would be easier to tell if your sentence was correct if you told us what you wanted to say. Are you asking if we will let them wreak havoc again, or if we should let them wreak havoc again, or what?
    – stangdon
    Aug 5, 2021 at 15:41
  • @stangdon more like "do we have to let them ...."
    – user516076
    Aug 5, 2021 at 15:44
  • Notice that “shall” and “shan’t” are outdated and rare in the most common dialects of English. As a learner you probably need to choose between “won’t” and “shouldn’t” in this sentence, depending upon the meaning you are after. Aug 5, 2021 at 16:08

1 Answer 1


I think you are mixing up tag questions.

It's your book, isn't it?

with a construction like

Let him speak, will you?

This latter is a rhetorical re-ordering of "Will you let him speak?"

It is pretty unusual to use "tag questions" with the imperative. It is possible to have

Go to the shops, why don't you?

but you can't add a tag question

Go to the shops, don't you? / This one doesn't make sense.

So coming back to your phrase, you could have

Let them wreak havoc again, did you? / Let them wreak havoc again, shall we?

as rhetorical re-arrangements of

Did you let them wreak havoc again? / Shall we let them wreak havoc again?

But you can't add a "tag question" as in your example. If you are not sure about the rhetorical effect of the re-arrangement you should be careful. It is sarcastic

Husband! What is going on here? You're meant to be watching the kids but there's a mess all over the living room. Let them wreak havoc again, did you?? And who's going to have to clear up? I'm really tired of your lack of responsibility.

  • I was just realized that it was a sarcastic expression. Thank you. So, I can't use a tag question in my sentence, then? About adding a tag question in an imperative sentence, I'm pretty sure I've read something like adding "will you" or "won't you" at the end of the sentence? It was from Murphy's book or Betty's (I'm not sure).
    – user516076
    Aug 6, 2021 at 3:21

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