What is Question Tag?
A tag question is a short question added to the end of a positive or negative statement.
Question tags are short questions at the end of statements. They are mainly used in speech when we want to:
confirm that something is true or not, or to encourage a reply from the person we are speaking to.
We use tags in spoken English but not in formal written English.
They are not really questions but are a way of asking the other person to make a comment and so keep the conversation open.
How are they formed?
Normally a positive statement is followed by a negative tag, and a negative statement is followed by a positive tag.
+ | - |
You're English, | aren't you? |
- | + |
You're not German, | are you? |
*The statement and the tag are always separated by a comma.
*Treat any statements with nothing, nobody etc like negative statements.
*The verb in the statement should be the same tense as the verb in the tag.
Present tense | | present tense |
You are a good singer, | aren't you? |
Past tense | | past tense |
You didn't go to work yesterday, | did you? |
Present perfect tense | | present perfect tense |
You have been to London, | haven't you? |
If the verb used in the statement is an auxiliary verb, then the verb used in the tag must match it. If a modal (can, could, will, should, etc.) is used in the statement, then the same modal is used in the tag part. If the statement doesn't use an auxilliary verb, then the auxiliary do is used in the tag part.
Auxiliary verb | | !Note |
She is from England, | isn't she? | |
They aren't very nice, | are they? | |
She doesn't like it here, | does she? | |
Modal verb | | |
You can sing, | can't you? | |
They shouldn't do that, |...