Questions Tags

Tag questions (or question tags) turn a statement into a question. They are often used for checking information that we think we know is true.

Questions Tags

Tag questions are made using an auxiliary verb (for example: be or have) and a subject pronoun (for example: I, you, she). Negative question tags are usually contracted: It’s warm today, isn’t it (not ‘is it not’)

Usually if the main clause is positive, the question tag is negative, and if the main clause is negative, it’s positive. For example: It’s cold (positive), isn’t it (negative)? And: It isn’t cold (negative), is it (positive)?

If the main clause has an auxiliary verb in it, you use the same verb in the tag question. If there is no auxiliary verb (in the present simple and past simple) use do / does / did (just like when you make a normal question).

There is one weird exception: the question tag after I am is aren’t I.
For example: I’m in charge of the food, aren’t I?

Postive sentences, with negative tags

Present simple ‘be’She’s Italian, isn’t she?
Present simple other
verbs
They live in London, don’t they?
Present continuousWe’re working tomorrow, aren’t we?
Past simple ‘be’It was cold yesterday, wasn’t it?
Past simple other verbsHe went to the party last night, didn’t he?
Past continuousWe were waiting at the station, weren’t we?
Present perfectThey’ve been to Japan, haven’t they?
Present perfect
continuous
She’s been studying a lot recently, hasn’t she?
Past perfectHe had forgotten his wallet, hadn’t he?
Past perfect continuousWe’d been working, hadn’t we?
Future simpleShe’ll come at six, won’t she?
Future continuousThey’ll be arriving soon, won’t they?
Future perfectThey’ll have finished before nine, won’t they?
Future perfect
continuous
She’ll have been cooking all day, won’t she?
ModalsHe can help, can’t he?
ModalsJohn must stay, mustn’t he?

Negative sentences, with positive tags

Present simple ‘be’We aren’t late, are we?
Present simple other
verbs
She doesn’t have any children, does she?
Present continuousThe bus isn’t coming, is it?
Past simple ‘be’She wasn’t at home yesterday, was she?
Past simple other verbsThey didn’t go out last Sunday, did they?
Past continuousYou weren’t sleeping, were you?
Present perfectShe hasn’t eaten all the cake, has she?
Present perfect
continuous
He hasn’t been running in this weather, has
he?
Past perfectWe hadn’t been to London before, had we?
Past perfect continuousYou hadn’t been sleeping, had you?
Future simpleThey won’t be late, will they?
Future continuousHe won’t be studying tonight, will he?
Future perfectShe won’t have left work before six, will she?
Future perfect
continuous
He won’t have been travelling all day, will he?
ModalsShe can’t speak Arabic, can she?
ModalsThey mustn’t come early, must they?

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