A question tag is a mini question that we put on the end of a sentence in order to get confirmations from audience. There are two types of sentences. Let’s learn how to make question tags for them.
- Sentence with Helping Verb‘.
- Sentence without Helping Verb
Positive sentence = Negative Question Tag
Negative sentence = Positive Question Tag
Sentence with Helping Verb
To make a question tag for a positive sentence, we add contracted form of ‘not‘ ‘n’t‘ in Helping Verb in the following manner and put on the end of the sentence before subject but negative sentence we don’t add ‘not’ in helping verb.
- I am—> aren’t I
- He is —-> isn’t he
- We are—> aren’t we
- She has—> hasn’t she
- They have—> haven’t they
- You must—> mustn’t you
- He may—> mayn’t he
- She should—> shouldn’t she
Sentence without Helping Verb
We use ‘don’t/doesn’t‘ for the present simple tense for all verbs except ‘am/is/are‘ for ‘am’ we use aren’t, for ‘is’ we use isn’t and for ‘are’ we use aren’t (see below):
- He goes to school, doesn’t he?
- Karen plays the piano, doesn’t she?
- They earn a lot of money, don’t they?
- You dislike fish, don’t you?
- They are at the museum, aren’t they?
- Sandra is on the phone, isn’t she?
- I am good, aren’t I?
We use ‘didn’t‘ for the past simple tense for all verbs except ‘was/were‘ for ‘was‘ we use wasn’t, for ‘were‘ we use weren’t (see below):
- They walked to school, didn’t they?
- You drunk coffee, didn’t you?
- The mall was empty, wasn’t it?
- You were late for school yesterday, weren’t you?
Other important question tags
After a positive imperative sentence, we use won’t you? (see below):
- Come in, won’t you?
- Go home, won’t you?
After a negative imperative, we use will you? (see below):
- Don’t forget, will you?
- Don’t go there, will you?
- Don’t call me, will you?
After let’s , we use shall we?
- Let’s have a party, shall we?
- Let’s play a game, shall we?
- Let’s eat dinner together, shall we?
Use ‘they‘ in a question tag when sentence includes indefinite pronouns such as nobody, somebody, no one, everyone, someone and everybody. (see below):
- someone is at the door, aren’t they?
- somebody is tracking my phone, aren’t they?
- Nobody respects me, do they? (Note : nobody is a negative word so it takes a positive tag.)
We use ‘it‘ in the question tags to refer to nothing and everything, something, anything. (see below):
- Anything is possible, isn’t it?
- Something is better than nothing, isn’t it?
- Nothing is impossible, is it? (Note: Nothing is a negative, so it takes a positive question tag.)
We use ‘there‘ in a question tag when the sentence includes ‘there + a form of be‘
- There is a big crowd outside, isn’t there?
- There are many horses in the stable, aren’t there?
- There was a live concert on TV last night, wasn’t there?
- There were hunters in the woods, weren’t there?
We use ‘it‘ in the question tag when the subject of a sentence is this or that and ‘they‘ for these and those.
- This is an expensive watch, isn’t it?
- That is my book, isn’t it ?
- These are not mine, aren’t they?