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Tag question (Grammar)

 English Grammar

Tag questions

Question tag is very short form of a question used for the conformation of the statement. It is added after the statement to check or to be sure about the statement.

Rules of tag question

Positive statement = negative tag

Negative statement = positive tag

(Some words which make sentence negative)

If the following words are in the sentence, the sentence is taken as negative sentence.

No, not, never, neither, no one, nobody, nothing, none, neither, nor, hardly, rarely, scarcely, barely, seldom etc.

Manita is reading a book, isn’t she?

The boys aren’t happy, are they?

Contracted forms should be used in tag questions. Some of those contracted forms of auxiliary verbs are given below:

is not – isn't

am not – aren't

are not – aren't

was not – wasn't

were not – weren't

does not – doesn't

do not – don't

did not – didn't

will not – won't

shall not – shan't

has not – hasn't

have not – haven't

had not – hadn't

dare not – daren't

must not – mustn't

cannot – can't

could not–couldn't           

may not – mayn't

should not – shouldn't         

would not – wouldn't

need not - needn't

might not - mightn't

ought not -oughtn't




1.       If there is an auxiliary verb in the sentence, we have to make tag question with the help of the same auxiliary verb.

He is a doctor, isn’t he?

I can speak English well, can't I?

2.          If there is not auxiliary verb, we have to take the help of do verb.

V1= do

V2= did

V5= does

They work well, don’t they?

Mohan ate rice, didn’t he?

Sunita plays skipping, doesn’t she?

3.      If 'Have' verb is used as main verb or there is to immediately after main verb, we should take the help of do verb.

have (to)= do

had (to)= did

has (to)= does

He had to do that work, didn’t he?

Sunita has her breakfast, doesn’t she?

I have to go now, don’t I? 

4.        The tag question of imperative form is 'will you'.

Open the door, will you?

Don’t open the door, will you?

Sima, open the door, will you?

Have a cup of tea, will you? 

5.      The tag question of the sentence starts with 'Let' is 'will you' and the sentence starts with 'Let's' is 'shall we'.

Let's listen to the music, shall we?

Let's do our homework, shall we?

Let her go out, will you?

6.      The tag question of 'I am' is 'aren’t I' and the tag question of 'I am not' is 'am I'.

I am reading now, aren’t I?

I am not playing now, am I?

7.       We always use pronouns instead of nouns in tag question.

a.      Singular male = he

b.     Singular female = she

c.      Singular thing/ object/ animal = it

d.     This/ that = it

e.      Plural male/female and all = they

f.       Everyone/ everybody/ someone / somebody/ anyone/ anybody/ no one / nobody/ none = they

(In tag question, plural form of auxiliary verb should be used because plural pronoun is used in this case.)

g.     Everything/ something/ nothing/ anything = it 

This is my style, isn’t it?

Ravi works hard, doesn’t he?

The dogs are barking, aren’t they?

Someone is knocking at the door, aren’t they?

Everything is perishable, isn’t it?

Nobody knows the truth, do they?

8.         If 'There' or 'One' is used as subject, we always use the same in tag question.

There is a dog, isn’t there?

One should be honest, shouldn't one? 

9.       S +'d + better/ V3 = had

S +'d + rather/ V1= would

            He'd watched the movie, hadn’t he?

            You'd better stay home, hadn’t you?

            She'd rather go jogging, wouldn’t she?

            She'd stay at home, wouldn’t she?

10.    If there are long sentences with two clauses, the tag should be according to the main clause.

If you study hard, you can pass the exam, can't you?

I would fly in the sky if I were a bird, wouldn’t I?

I suppose you are reading, aren’t you?

I don’t think it will be sunny, will it?


Video for testing the competency of students (tag questions)

 For Prepositions CLICK HERE

For Transformation CLICK HERE

For exercise CLICK HERE

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