Positive and Negative question tags, special cases in question tags…
Question Tags in English – Video
1. How to form Question Tags?
- In general, negative questions tags follow positive statements and positive tags follow negative statements.
- We form question tags by using the same auxiliary which appears in the main statement, together with a subject pronoun.
You’ve seen this film before, haven’t you?
She can’t swim, can she?
- If there is no auxiliary verb or be in the statement, we use do, does, did in the question tag.
He likes the sound of his own voice, doesn’t he?
- We use falling intonation on question tags when we are checking information and we expect the listener to agree.
It’s a lovely day, isn’t it? ↘
- We use rising intonation to ask a real question, when we are unsure whether the statement is true or not, or when asking for information and making requests.
You couldn’t do me a favor, could you? ↗
3. Special Cases
- We use will/can you? or would/could you? after positive imperatives; only will you? is used after negatives imperatives.
Don’t be late, will you?
- After statements containing negative words like never, nothing or nobody, as well as hardly, barely, seldom and rarely we normally use a positive tag.
He hardly ever phones, does he?
- We use the pronoun they in question tags after statements with nobody/no one, somebody someone, everybody/everyone as the subject.
Everyone seemed to have a good time, didn’t they?
- We use the verb form are/aren’t when the subject is the first person singular.
I’m right about Julie, aren’t I?
- We use shall we after sentences with let’s go.
Let’s go for a walk, shall we?