Question Tags


Question Tags Explanation

We use questions tags ( a mini question ) on the end of our sentences to request for confirmation or to really ask questions. To see the difference, see the following explanations.

The definition of Question Tags

Question tag is a mini question we put on the end of a sentence. Let's see the following example. The underlined words are the question tag.
  1. You haven't got a car, have you?
  2. It was a nightmare, wasn't it?
  3. She came home by taxi, didn't she?

Question Tags On Positive Sentences

When the main sentence is positive, we have to use negative question tag. Let's see the following example.
  1. Your boyfriend will be here soon, won't he?
  2. She goes to work by car, doesn't she?
  3. They were very sad, weren't they?
  4. You came home last night, didn't you?

Question Tags On Negative Sentences

When the main sentence is negative, we have to use positive question tag. Let's see the following example.
  1. Your girlfriend won't be here soon, will she?
  2. She doesn't like party, does she?
  3. They weren't very happy, were they?
  4. You didn't come home last night, did you?

The Meaning of Question Tags

The meaning of question tag depends on how we say it. If the voice goes down, we aren't really asking a question. We are only asking for confirmation or agreement.  If the voice goes up, it is a real question. We really want to know if the answer yes or no.

The Answer To Question Tags And Its Meaning 

The answer to a question tag can have two possibilities, "yes" or "no". Let's see the following example.
  1. You're not going to school today, are you?  Yes. ( = I am going ) or No ( = I'm not going. )
  2. You're going to school today, aren't you? Yes. (=I am going ) or No (=I'm not going. )

How To Determine The Right Auxiliary For Question Tags

To determine the right auxiliary for question tags, we can see the following tables.

 Main Sentence      The Auxiliary For Question Tag
 Present Simple Tense
 Example : She goes to work by car.
 do    (  I, you, we, they )
 does (  he, she, it )
 Past Simple Tense
 Example : My father came home late last night.
 did  (  all subject )
 Present Perfect Tense
 Example : You have stopped smoking. She has gone home.
 have (  I, you, we, they )
 has   ( he, she, it )
 Present Continuous Tense
 Example : She is sleeping right now.
 are ( you )
 is   ( he, she, it )
 am ( I )
 Past Perfect Tense
 Example : She had got a luxurious house before she became an artist.
 had ( all subject )
 Sentences with modals
 Example :
 She will get cold.
 You can fly a helicopter.
 Depends on the modal in the main sentence.
can can't
will won't
shall shan't
should shouldn't
would wouldn't



Question Tags On The Imperative ( Do/ Don't )

After the imperative "do" or "don't do", we use the tag "will you" or "won't you". Let's see the following example.
  1. Open the window, will you?
  2. Don't be noisy, will you?
  3. Get the phone for me, won't you?

Special Question Tags

Notice these special question tags.
  1. Let's dance, shall we?
  2. I'm late, aren't I?

The Words Making Positive Question Tags

If a sentence contains the following words, we have to use positive question tags. The words have negative sense. 
  1. never
  2. seldom
  3. hardly ever
Let's see the following example :
  1. She never comes late, does she?
  2. We seldom see our parents, do we?

Special Subject In Question Tags

If the subject of the main sentence is everybody, everyone, somebody, someone, nobody or no-one, we use subject they on the question tag.
Let's see the following example :
  1. Everybody loves her, don't they?
  2. Somebody entered our house last night, didn't they?

Question Tags Exercise

In this exercise you have to put a question tag on the end of each sentence. 
  1. Your father's at home, ... ?
  2. Susan doesn't like chicken, ... ?
  3. I am funny, .......?
  4. You've got a camera, ... ?
  5. He won't mind if I go early, ... ?
  6. There are a lot of people here, ... ?
  7. This is very boring, ... ?
  8. You wouldn't tell anyone, ...
  9. Listen, ... ?
  10. I shouldn't have got angry, ... ?
  11. She had gone home before we came here, ....?
  12. They had to go home, ... ?
  13. Everybody's happy, ...?
  14. She seldom sees her parents in the village, ...?
  15. Let's go,....?

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