About tag questions
Tag questions turn a statement into a question. They are often used to check the information that we think is correct. Tag questions are mostly used in spoken English.
Characteristics of tag questions:
- Use an auxiliary verb – be or have
- A subject pronoun – I, you, she
- Contracted negative question tags – It’s cold today, isn’t it (not ‘is it not’)
- If the main clause is positive, then the question tags are negative – It’s cold today (positive), isn’t it (negative)?
- If the main clause is negative, then the question tags are positive – It’s not cold today (negative), is it (positive)?
- If the main clause has an auxiliary verb, use the same verb in the tag question. If there is no auxiliary verb, in the present simple and the past simple then use; do/does/did
- The exception – the question tag after I am is aren’t I
Positive sentences, with negative tags
Negative sentences, with positive tags
Grammar Quiz – Tag questions (present and past)
Complete these sixteen sentences to score your knowledge of tag questions
Tag questions can be very confusing for EFL students. They contain a statement and then a question. The question would seem to contradict the statement, because it is opposite from the question, if the question is positive, the tag question is negative and vice-versa.
Suggested Reference books on Grammar
|Understanding and Using English Grammar by Betty Azar|
|English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy|