Grammar: Question Tags in English

Positive and Negative question tags, special cases in question tags.

How to form Question Tags?

Learn how to form Question Tags and useful grammar rules in forming Question Tags with examples.

  • 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?  

Intonation

  • 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? 

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 hardlybarelyseldom 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?

Question Tags in English | Picture

Question Tags in English

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