What exactly is the name and nature of this odd bit of consistent yet seemingly redundant English found in many forms of colloquial English:

"She gave me dates, she did!"

"The little lads ran home, they did!"

"It's getting dark, it is."

"I apparently speak like this, I do."

"We'll wait 'ere, we i'll!"

What exactly is this repetitive pair at the end for? It appears to be for the last clause of a spoken sentence, and reiterates the subject and tense of it. It also appears to either never, or rarely, be interrogative.

I'm not sure what exactly this little utterance is for, and yet I seem use it IRL all the time, I do. So... what is it?

1 Answer 1


It's a "tag". Here is a paper on tags. Armagost 1972 English declarative tags, intonation tags, and tag questions is a good introduction, IMO. Your examples are "declarative tags" (section I), and there are other types (You won't, will you?"; "You won't, wont you?")". Basically, tags convey pragmatic information, about speaker attitudes and presuppositions.

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