If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:3:24

Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello, grammarians, and hello, Paige. - [Voiceover] Hi, David. - [Voiceover] Paige, I have a question for you. - [Voiceover] What's up? - [Voiceover] You like cheese, don't you? - [Voiceover] Why, yes, I do. - [Voiceover] So, Paige, what I've just asked you is an example of what's called a tag question. So I'm making an assertion and then I'm actually looking for confirmation; so I'm making a statement and then, consumed by doubt, I have to turn, comma, and ask you for confirmation. So I say: "You like cheese", comma, "don't you?" And so what's cool about tag questions is that they kind of follow this positive-negative flow. So it begins with a positive assertion, like: "Here is a thing that is true", and then the doubt, so you then negate it to ask the question. - [Voiceover] Right. - [Voiceover] You can also do this backwards and begin with a negative assertion and ask a positive question, like: "This won't hurt", comma, "will it?" And we're using the comma to perform its separating function because that's what commas do, and separate between the assertion and the doubt question. And that's what tag questions are. Sorry to just launch into it. So today we're gonna talk about tag questions, direct address, and using commas in the context of yes and no. - [Voiceover] Right. - [Voiceover] So, Paige, how are you? - [Voiceover] Why are you asking me this? - [Voiceover] Because it's an example of direct address. So if I start off an utterance by directly addressing you, it follows a pause, I would say: "Paige," comma, "how are you?" - [Voiceover] I see. That makes sense. - [Voiceover] But also I'm interested in your well-being. - [Voiceover] Oh, well thank you! I'm good. - [Voiceover] Good. So if you're directly addressing a person, it doesn't have to be just Paige, it could also be me, it could also be Sal, whoever, you would say the name followed by a comma then the question, or whatever the sentence was going to be, like: "Paige, I'm going to the grocery store later. "Do you want some cheese?" - [Voiceover] Right. I do definitely want some cheese. - [Voiceover] So then in that response actually you could have the final thing we're going to talk about today, which is yes and no commas. So when you're answering a question, whether yes or no, you kind of use yes or no as sentence adverbs, kind of. It's an introductory element, so you would say: "Yes," comma, "I would love some cheese", or "No," comma, "I hate cheese" if it were like an alternate-universe version of you. - [Voiceover] Yeah, no, I definitely love cheese. - [Voiceover] But that's how it works. You would use, say, yes or no and follow it with a comma. So this is just another example of how powerful commas are. You can use them in all these different separating abilities. So you can separate between the tag question, the positive assertion and the negative question, like: "You like cheese," comma, "don't you?", or "This won't hurt," comma, "will it?" You can use it in direct address, like: "Paige," comma, "how are you?", and in yes-or-no responses, like "No," comma, "I hate cheese", or "Yes," comma, "I would love some cheese." - [Voiceover] Commas are so powerful. - [Voiceover] Yeah, for real. - [Voiceover] The viewer can learn anything, can't they? - [Voiceover] Yes, Paige, I believe they can. David out. - [Voiceover] Paige out.