Question tags - English Grammar

Question tags - Complex Test
Exercises - Question tags

Use

frequently used in spoken English when you want s.o. to agree or disagree


Form

positive statement ->question tag negative - You are Tom, aren't you?
negative statement->question tag positive - He isn't Joe, is he?


Examples

with auxiliaries
You've got a car, haven't you?

without auxiliaries (use: don't, doesn't, didn't)
They play football on Sundays, don't they?
She plays football on Sundays, doesn't she?
They played football on Sundays, didn't they?

Questions tags are used to keep a conversation going. You can agree or refuse to a sentence with a question tag.

You go to school, don't you?
You agree. You refuse.
Yes, I do. No, I don't.

You aren't from Germany, are you?
You agree. You refuse.
No, I'm not. Yes, I am.


Questions tags - Special

Although the negative word not is not in the sentence, the sentence can be negative. Then we use the "positive" question tag.

He never goes out with his dog, does he?

have is a main verb in the sentence -> two possibilities (when referring to states)

We have a car, _____?
We have a car, haven't we? We have a car, don't we?
mostly British English mostly American English

We use will/would with the imperative (Simple Present).

Open the window, will you?
Open the window, would you?
Don't open your books, will you?

We use won't with a polite request.

Open the window, won't you?

We use shall after Let's.

Let's take the next bus, shall we?

Auxiliary must

We must be at home at 8 pm, mustn't we?
Yes, we must. No, we needn't.


Procedure adding a question tag

Look at the sentence.
1 Is an auxiliary or a form of to be in the sentence?
  yes no
  auxiliary or form of to be affirmative
-> negate auxiliary (add n't)

auxiliary or form of to be negative
-> (delete n't)
affirmative sentence
-> Negate sentence (e.g. don't; doesn't; didn't)

negative sentence
-> (delete n't)
2 Is a personal pronoun the subject of the sentence?
  yes no
  Use the personal pronoun. Form the personal pronoun.
3 Complete the sentence.

 

Example 1: He can play football, ________.
1 Is an auxiliary or a form of to be in the sentence?
  yes -> can  
  auxiliary or form of to be affirmative
-> negate auxiliary (add n't)

can't
 
2 Is a personal pronoun the subject of the sentence?
  yes  
  Use the personal pronoun.  
3 He can play football, can't he?

 

Example 2: Peter can play football, ________.
1 Is an auxiliary or a form of to be in the sentence?
  yes -> can  
  auxiliary or form of to be affirmative
-> negate auxiliary (add n't)

can't
 
2 Is a personal pronoun the subject of the sentence?
    no
    Form the personal pronoun.
Peter -> he
3 Peter can play football, can't he?

 

Example 3: Peter plays football, ________.
1 Is an auxiliary or a form of to be in the sentence?
    no
    affirmative sentence
-> Negate the verb.

verb plays -> Negation: doesn't play

We only use the auxiliary doesn't.
2 Is a personal pronoun the subject of the sentence?
    no
    Form the personal pronoun.
Peter -> he
3 Peter plays football, doesn't he?
English
Learning English
E-Learning
Holidays in England
Changing of the Guard
Golden Gate
Study English
Learning
>>Deutsche Version
User Online   |  Visitors today (sponsored by www.etracker.de)