English Grammar : Question tags

Use of 'Question tags' in English Grammar


'Question tags' are short questions asked to conform the information. They are formed with the auxiliary or modal verb from the statement and the appropriate subject.

Question tags are either positive or negative.

If the statement is the positive, the 'question tag' is negative and if the statement is negative, the 'question tag' is positive.

We use 'question tag' quite often in our daily conversation. In question tag we make a statement (Positive or negative) and ask small question for confirmation at the end of the statement. The negative question tag is formed by combining verb with n’t.

We use auxiliaries only in Question Tag. While forming a question tag there is a comma after the statement and question tag at the end of the sentence.

We use pronoun (I, You, We, He, She, They, It) and auxiliary verb in the question tag.

  • • I am in charge of the department, aren't I?
  • • You are late, aren’t you?
  • • We have a car, haven't we?
  • • He is a teacher, isn’t he?
  • • She has a motor bike, hasn’t she?
  • • It is very cold, isn’t it?
  • • They play cricket on Sundays, don't they?
  • • Ashok lives here, isn’t he?
Positive statement with negative question tag.
Sometime we ask question with positive statement, but answer comes with negative question tag.
  • • She is Indian, isn't she? - (Present simple 'be')
  • • They live in India, don't they? - (Present simple other verbs)
  • • We're working tomorrow, aren't we? - (Present continuous)
  • • It was very hot yesterday, wasn't it? - (Past simple 'be')
  • • He went to the movie last night, didn't he? - (Past simple other verbs)
  • • We were waiting at the airport, weren't we? - (Past continuous)
  • • They have been to Dubai, haven't they? - (Present perfect)
  • • She has been working lot recently, hasn't she? - (Present perfect continuous)
  • • He had forgotten his cellphone, hadn't he? - (Past perfect)
  • • We had been studying, hadn't we? - (Past perfect continuous)
  • • He will come at five, won't he? - (Future simple)
  • • They will be coming soon, won't they? - (Future continuous)
  • • They will have finished before eight, won't they? - (Future perfect)
  • • She will have been teaching all day, won't she? - (Future perfect continuous)
  • • She can help, can't she? - (Modals)
  • • Rohan must stay, mustn't he? - (Modals)
Negative statement with positive question tag.
Sometime we ask question with negative statement, but answer comes with positive question tag.
  • • We aren't early, are we? - (Present simple 'be')
  • • He doesn't have any children, does he? - (Present simple other verbs)
  • • The train isn't coming, is it? - (Present continuous)
  • • She wasn't at office yesterday, was she? - (Past simple 'be')
  • • They didn't go out last Saturday, did they? - (Past simple other verbs)
  • • You weren't studying, were you? - (Past continuous)
  • • He hasn't eaten all the chocolates, has he? - (Present perfect)
  • • He hasn't been running in this condition, has he? - (Present perfect continuous)
  • • We hadn't been to America before, had we? - (Past perfect)
  • • You hadn't been working, had you? - (Past perfect continuous)
  • • They won't be to late, will they? - (Future simple)
  • • He won't be studying today, will he? - (Future continuous)
  • • He won't have left work before Eight, will he? - (Future perfect)
  • • She won't have been working all day, will she? - (Future perfect continuous)
  • • He can't speak French, can he? - (Modals)
  • • They mustn't come early, must they? - (Modals)
In spoken English language, we often shorten/contract the negative questions:
  • Is not » Isn’t
  • Was not » Wasn’t
  • Were not » Weren’t
  • Are not » Aren’t
  • Have not » Haven’t
  • Has not » Hasn’t
  • Had not » Hadn’t
  • Do not » Don’t
  • Does not » Doesn’t
  • Did not » Didn’t
  • Will not » Won’t
  • Would not » Wouldn’t
  • Shall not » Shalln’t
  • Should not » Shouldn’t
  • Can not » Can’t
  • Could not » Couldn’t
  • Need not » Needn’t
  • Must not » Mustn’t
Types of Auxiliary Verbs
(1) Auxiliary–cum–verbs.

"Auxiliary-cum-verbs" are :

These 11 auxiliaries are also used as verbs, therefore, they are called Auxiliary–cum–verbs. These are used to form Tenses. ( Please refer Tense Table).

(2) Pure Auxiliary verbs..

These 20 auxiliaries only support normal verbs, therefore, they are called Pure Auxiliary Verbs. They are also called Models or Model Auxiliary Verbs.

Related Topics :
Types of Noun in English Language
Types of Pronoun in English Language
Types of Verb in English Language
Types of Adverb in English Language
Types of Adjective in English Language
Kinds of Preposition in English Language
Types of Conjunction in English Language
Uses of Interjection words in English Language


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