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Tag-Questions or Question Tags. Statement Sentences with short questions at the end with a question mark!. Tag-Questions. A ‘tag-question’ or ‘question tag’ is not a true question.

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tag questions or question tags
Tag-QuestionsorQuestion Tags
  • Statement Sentences with short questions at the end with a question mark!
tag questions
  • A ‘tag-question’ or ‘question tag’ is not a true


A tag question is used at the end of a Statement Sentence to get the confirmation from the listener, or just to express one’s doubt.

A question sentence, on the contrary, is used to get the answer.

tag questions3
  • You are my student. Statement Sentence positive
  • You are not my student. Statement negative
  • Are you my student? Question (interrogative)
  • You are my student, aren’t you? Tag-question
tag questions4
  • Whose books are these? – a true question
  • These are your books, aren’t they?

-Tag-question – Positive

These are not your books, are they?

- Tag-question -- Negative

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  • Making a tag-question sentence:
  • She is your friend


isn’t she


A positive tag-question sentence!

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  • There are five simple points we should follow when we use a Tag-question:
  • Point 1
  • A comma is used between the main sentence and the ‘tag’ part, e.g.
  • This is your book isn’t it?


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  • Point 2:
  • Even if the subject of the main sentence is a noun – proper noun or common noun – the

subject of the ‘tag’ part is always a corresponding PERSONAL PRONOUN. e.g.

Mary isn’t your sister, is she?

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  • Point 2 (continued)
  • Johnhas gone home, hasn’t ?

‘John’ – proper noun – male – singular


pronoun – male – singular – subjective case

tag question
  • Point 2(continued)
  • Ted and Jerrygot their books, didn’t ?

‘Ted and Jerry’ – Proper nouns – male – plural


Personal Pronoun – male -- plural

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  • Point 3
  • The verb in the ‘tag’ part depends on the verb in the main sentence:
  • If the verb in the main sentence is in Present Tense, the verb in the ‘tag’ part will be in Present Tense; and the verb in the main sentence is in Past Tense, the verb in the ‘tag’ part will be in Past, and so on.
  • If the verb in the main sentence is in Positive form, the verb in the ‘tag’ part will be in Negative form.
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  • Point 3(continued)
  • She is your sister, she?

“is” – main verb – Simple Present Tense –POSITIVE


– Simple present tense – NEGATIVE

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  • Point 3(continued)
  • Brad hasn’t done his work, he?

‘hasn’t’ – Present perfect – NEGATIVE


Present perfect -- POSITIVE

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  • Point 3(continued)
  • Kate goes to school, she?

‘goes’ – Simple present – POSITIVE

‘does not go’ – Simple present – NEGATIVE


Point 4

The negative form of the verb in the ‘tag’ part is always contracted:

does not = doesn’t; has not = hasn’t; will not = won’t

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  • Point 3(continued)
  • James did not go to school, he?

‘did not go’ – Simple past – NEGATIVE

‘go’ – Simple past – Positive; however, in ‘tag’ part, the auxiliary (helping) verb alone is used:


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  • Point 5 -- Word order
  • In the statement sentence (in the main sentence) the subject comes first and the verb comes next; but in the ‘tag’ part, the verb comes first and the subject comes next, just as in the interrogative sentence.
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  • Point 5 – word order (continued)

For example:

A woman fainted, didn’t she?

Main sentence

‘tag’ part

Subject first; verb next

Verb first; subject next

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  • There are some exceptions to some of the rules (points) we have discussed so far. To understand those rules (points), first we have to master these points.
  • Therefore, let’s master these rules (points) now, and then we can go for those exceptions later!