Grammar
Questions: Tag questions

1st Part
Yes or No

2nd Part
Wh questions

3rd Part
Direct / Indirect

4th Part
Tag Questions

Grammar in use

  • Topic : Tag questions
  • Skills : Grammar

Use

What is a a tag question?

A tag question is a grammatical structure that is used to turn a statement into a question. It consists of a statement followed by a short question tag that seeks confirmation or agreement from the listener. Tag questions are commonly used in spoken English to seek agreement, to clarify information, or to express uncertainty.

The structure of a tag question typically involves using a positive or negative statement, which is then followed by a tag that matches the polarity of the statement. If the statement is positive, the tag is usually negative, and if the statement is negative, the tag is usually positive.

Examples:
Statement: You like coffee.
Tag question: You like coffee, don’t you?

Statement: She isn’t coming, is she?
Tag question: She isn’t coming, is she?

Tag questions can vary in their form and can include various pronouns, auxiliary verbs, and the appropriate subject-verb agreement. The intonation used when speaking a tag question can also convey different meanings, such as seeking confirmation, expressing surprise, or indicating uncertainty.

Structure of tag questions:

Positive statement = negative tag

Negative statement = positive tag

How to form a question tag?

RuleExample
If the auxiliary verb in the statement is “is,” “am,” “are,” “was,” or “were,” the contracted form in the tag is “isn’t,” “aren’t,” “wasn’t,” or “weren’t.”Statement: She is here.
Tag question: She is here, isn’t she?
If the auxiliary verb in the statement is “has” or “have,” the contracted form in the tag is “hasn’t” or “haven’t.”Statement: They have finished.
Tag question: They have finished, haven’t they?
If the auxiliary verb in the statement is “do” or “does,” the contracted form in the tag is “don’t” or “doesn’t.”Statement: You like ice cream.
Tag question: You like ice cream, don’t you?
If the auxiliary verb in the statement is “did,” the contracted form in the tag is “didn’t.”Statement: He studied for the test. Tag question: He studied for the test, didn’t he?


Remember, when forming a contracted question tag, make sure the subject pronoun in the tag matches the subject of the statement.
If the subject in the statement is “I,” the subject pronoun in the tag is “I” as well, without any contraction.

Tag questions are used for several reasons in English communication:

1. Seeking confirmation or agreement
Tag questions are commonly used to seek confirmation or agreement from the listener. By adding a tag at the end of a statement, the speaker invites the listener to respond and confirm whether they agree or disagree with the statement.

Example: “You’re coming to the party, aren’t you?” The speaker is seeking confirmation that the listener will attend the party.
2. Seeking clarification
Tag questions can be used to seek clarification or to ask for additional information. They help the speaker confirm or clarify something they are unsure about.

Example: “She left early, didn’t she?” The speaker is seeking confirmation that the person mentioned indeed left early.
3. Expressing uncertainty or politeness
Tag questions can also be used to express uncertainty or to soften the impact of a statement. They are often employed to show politeness or to avoid sounding too assertive.

“It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?” The speaker is expressing uncertainty and inviting the listener to confirm whether they agree that the day is indeed lovely.
4. Maintaining conversation and encouraging response
Tag questions can help maintain a conversation and encourage the listener to respond. They make the statement more interactive and invite further discussion.

Example: “That movie was great, wasn’t it?” The speaker is inviting the listener to share their opinion about the movie and continue the conversation.


Tag questions can vary in formality and can convey different tones depending on the intonation used.
They are commonly used in spoken English and add a conversational element to the language.

FORMATION/ CAS PARTICULIERS

He speaks English, DOESN’T HE?
He won’t stay long, WILL HE?
There were a lot of people, WEREN’T THEY?
They’d heard him before, HADN’T THEY
He went to England, DIDN’T HE?
She must be happy, MUSTN’T SHE?
They couldn’t come, COULD THEY?
He’d often travel by plane in those days, WOULDN’T THEY? 
That was very nice, wasn’t IT? This isn’t fair, is IT? 
He never travelled in England, DID HE? .You could hardly hear him, COULD YOU?
He barely knows his math lesson, DOES HE? 
Everybody had a nice time, DIDN’T THEY ? Nobody listened to the lecture, DID THEY? 
Don’t worry, WILL YOU Let’s go, SHALL WE! 
I’m always right, AREN’T I ? I was always right, WEREN’T I?

VALEURS / TAGS / SHORT ANSWERS 

Asking for confirmation
You don’t have lunch at home, DO YOU?
Everybody enjoyed the play, DIDN’T THEY? 
She’s very fond of cars, ISN’T SHE? 
You don’t have lunch at home, DO YOU? 
Everybody enjoyed the play, DIDN’T THEY? 
She’s very fond of cars, ISN’T SHE? 
Request
Shut the door, WILL YOU!
Don’t shout, WILL YOU !
Shut the door, WILL YOU!
Don’t shout, WILL YOU !
Suggestion
Let’s play tennis, SHALL WE? 
Let’s play tennis, SHALL WE? 

SHORT ANSWERS 

Asking for confirmationHave you been working all day?
Is she angry with us ? 
Must you go so soon ?
Will you have this woman to be your lawful wedding wife ?
So, she thinks I’m mad  
You insist on coming with us .
Yes, I have
Of course, she is
 I am afraid I must.
 I will
She does
I do.
NegationCan John drive ?
Have you seen her lately?
Do you intend to answer my letter?
No, he can’t.
No, I haven’t.
I don’t
ContradictionHe doesn’t like pizzas.
She can’t swim.
John is fond of detective stories.
I must hurry up. 
I do.
I can.
I‘m not.
You mustn’t
SurpriseShe’s now living in Australia.
He settled in Canada last year.
He doesn’t mind staying at the office.
He plays football on Sundays.
I won’t go until I have seen her.
I’ve never heard about him.
Oh, is she ! 
Did he !
 Doesn’t he!
Oh, does he!
Won’t you !
Haven’t YOU !
Sharing views, habits ….He loves tennis.
We’ll go to London for Christmas.
He doesn’t like cinema.
He can’t swim.
Asking questions 

Answer the following questions

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