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When changing a tag question, for example:

It's only you who have that book, isn't it?

to a non-tag question:

Isn't it only you who have that book?

Does the verb stay the same?

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  • I have edited your question as it was proofreading before, or at least it was not clear; this is the only question that I see arising, apart from something like asking how to change tag questions into non-tag questions which might be too broad for this format. Please edit the question if you feel it does not address your concerns, but make sure the question can be answered and has value to future visitors.
    – jimsug
    Nov 9, 2014 at 5:26
  • 5
    Same question was posted in ELU: english.stackexchange.com/questions/207108/…
    – F.E.
    Nov 9, 2014 at 5:55
  • In either tag, the subordinate clause, who has the book, who is singular. The pronoun, you, is the only pronoun followed by a plural verb. Why? I don't know. But who is used in place of he or she. So the singular verb would be has.
    – JimM
    Nov 17, 2014 at 15:25
  • Thinking through my above post, I didn't explain it very well. In the subordinate clause, the candidates would all be third person singular.
    – JimM
    Nov 17, 2014 at 15:41

1 Answer 1

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No, the sentence is not grammatically correct. I'd word the question, "Aren't you the only one that has the book?" The subordinate clause, that has the book refers back to the singular pronoun, one, not you, so the singular verb, has, should be used.

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  • I would first want to know whether the "you" being addressed is a singular "you" or plural "you".! Feb 16, 2015 at 6:22
  • As a nit pick, shouldn't it be "Aren't you the only one WHO has the book?"? Mar 17, 2015 at 18:20

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