Sep 10, 2019
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Question Tag – Complete Guide

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What are question tags? Question tags are the form of questions that is attached to the end of the statement. Question tags are used in day-to-day lives conversation and acts as a confirmation to the statements.

Types of Question Tags:

Positive Question Tags:

If the statement is negative, then the question tag will be positive.

Eg: Rita is not coming, is she?

Negative Question Tags:

If the statement is positive, then the question tag will be negative.

Eg: Rita is coming, isn’t she?

Steps while forming question tags:

1.

Identify the auxiliary verb of the statement.

Eg: Sam is working.

2.

Identify the subject.

Eg: Samis working.

3.

Add a comma at the end of the statement.

Eg: Sam is working,

4.

Add the negative contracted form of the auxiliary verb.

Eg: Sam is working, isn’t

5.

Add the pronoun of the noun in the statement.

Eg: Sam is working, isn’t he

6.

Add a question mark.

Eg: Sam is working, isn’t he?

In negative question tags, auxiliary verbs should be always in the contracted form. Refer the table below for the list of contracted auxiliary verbs.

 

Auxiliary Verbs Contractions
Do not don’t
Does not doesn’t
Did not didn’t
Is not isn’t
Are not aren’t
Has not hasn’t
Have not haven’t
Had not hadn’t
Was not wasn’t
Were not weren’t
Shall not shan’t
Will not won’t
Can not can’t
May not mayn’t
Could not couldn’t
Might not mightn’t
Should not shouldn’t
Would not wouldn’t
Ought not oughtn’t
Must not mustn’t
Used not usedn’t
Need not needn’t
Dare not daren’t

Rules:

 

Rule 1:

Subject of the question tag should always be pronoun.

Eg: Sam is working, isn’t he?

Noun                                  pronoun

Rule 2:

Question tag should always be in lower case.

Rule 3:

If the auxiliary verb is not present in the statement, then follow the below procedure:

Step 1:

Identify the tense of the statement:
If it is present tense, refer the below table for auxiliary verb:

use do for I, you and plural, or does for singular, he, she and it.

I play chess.

I play chess, don’t I?

She plays chess.

She plays chess, doesn’t she?

If it is past tense, use did

I played chess.

I played chess, didn’t I?

She played chess.

She played chess, didn’t she?

Step 2:

Add the auxiliary verb, do, does, or did as per the tense of the statement and add the pronoun.

Rule 4:

Statements will the below words are negative and you should use positive question tags:

Barely, hardly, no, neither, none, nobody, no one, nothing, seldom, scarcely and rarely.

Eg:

Rita had nothing, had she?

Sheldon is seldom angry, is he?

Rule 5:

If the subject of the statement is indefinite pronoun, then the subject of the question tag will be ‘they’.

Indefinite pronouns are:

anybody everybody nobody somebody
anyone everyone no one someone

Eg:

Somebody came to my house.

Somebody came to my house, didn’t they?

None can defeat me.

None can defeat me, can they?

 

Rule 6:

If the statement has anything, everything, nothing or something, then the subject of the question tag will be it.

Eg:

Everything will be fine.

Everything will be fine, won’t it?

Nothing has changed.

Nothing has changed, has it?

Something will happen tomorrow.

Something will happen tomorrow, won’t it.

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