Last Updated : 07 Jan 2019.

QUESTION TAGS IN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

Definition :
Sometimes people finish what they are saying with a short question. Why do they do this? Because they want to know if the person they are speaking to agrees with them.

A Question Tag is the shortest form of a qustion using the verb plus pronoun.

RULES FOR QUESTION TAGS

 

  • A positive statement uses a negative tag.
  • A negative statement uses a positive tag.

e.g

NEGATIVE TAGIt is raining, isn’t it?The main part of the sentence is positive, but the question tag is negative.
POSITIVE TAGIt is not raining, is it?The main part of the sentence is negative, but the question tag is positive.

1.STATEMENT WITH AUXILIARIES:

e.g

1David is older than you, isn’t he?4 Sally can’t dance, can she?
2It is dark, isn’t it?5Tigers are dangerous, aren’t they?
3He and I can go by bus, can’t we?6Sarah and Reeta will come, won’t they?

» If the main part of the sentence has I am in it, use aren’t I in the question tag.

» If the main part of the sentence has I am not in it, use am I in the question tag.

e.g

1I am your best teacher, aren’t I?3 I am not your best teacher, am I?
2I am taller than you, aren’t I?4I am not taller than you, am I?

 

2. STATEMENT WITHOUT AUXILIARIES:

e.g

1She sings beautifully, doesn’t she?3 The sun shines hot in summer, doesn’t it?
2Rivers flow towards the sea, don’t they?4Kabil broke the world record, didn’t he?

3. a. STATEMENTS USING AUXILIARIES:

e.g: As has/have/had

1The bell has rung, hasn’t it?2 The flowers have drooped, haven’t they?

 b. STATEMENTS USING THE MAIN VERB:

e.g: As has/have/had - use do/does/did forms

1A lion has sharp claws, doen’t it?2 Indians have great respect for traditions, don’t they?

4. STATEMENTS HAVING NEGATIVE WORDS USE POSITIVE TAG:

e.g: Using no, none, never, not, neither-nor

1Rosy is not going to come today, is she?3 My father never smokes, does he?
2The cuckoo has no care for its eggs, does it?4 Neither John nor David has any bad habits, do they?

e.g: Using little, few, scarcely, hardly, rarely

1David shows little care in his studies, does he?3 Few planets can be seen, can they?
2Antony scarcely listens in class, does he?4 They rarely lose their points, do they?

5. STATEMENTS HAVING a little/a few ARE POSITIVE:

e.g: Therefore they use negative tag

1A little sugar is added to sauces, isn’t it?2 I have a few chocolates to share, haven’t I?

6. Only USES BOTH POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE TAGS:

e.g:

1Only children are allowed to play in the park, are/aren’t they?2 She did only one mistake, did/didn’t she?

7. Let’s USES shall we:

e.g:

1Let’s go home, shall we?2 Let’s get together for a party, shall we?

8. SIMPLE REQUESTS USE will you?:

e.g:

1Pass me the pen, will you?2 Get me a ticket, will you?

9. URGENT REQUESTS won’t you?:

e.g:

1Send the e-mail, immediately, won’t you?2 Pass on the message soon, won’t you?

10. IMPATIENT REMARKS can’t you?:

e.g:

1Keep quiet, can’t you?2 Listion to me, can’t you?

11. STATEMENTS USING each, every, someone, somebody, anyone, anybody, none, nobody:

e.g: - take a plural pronoun - they

1Everybody cheered, didn’t they?2 Somebody can do it, can’t they?
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