Question tags are the small questions that often come at the end of sentences in speech. They are used to check whether something is true. Question tags can also be used to ask for agreement.
Note that we use a negative question tag after affirmative sentences and a non-negative tag after negative sentences. Here are the basic rules for the formation of question tags.
If the main sentence has an auxiliary verb, this is repeated in the question tag.
She can speak English, can’t she?
He will help us, won’t he?
It is raining, isn’t it?
He is making a big mistake, isn’t he?
She isn’t coming, is she?
The film was good, wasn’t it?
You didn’t see her, did you?
She couldn’t come, could she?
You couldn’t lend me a penny, could you?
He didn’t win, did he?
You didn’t see my watch, did you?
She didn’t call, did she?
If the main sentence has no auxiliary verb, the question tag has do, does or did.
Susie likes chocolates, doesn’t she?
She went to the market, didn’t she?
She gave you a cheque, didn’t she?
Question tags (advanced points)
The question tag for I am is aren’t I?
- I’m late, aren’t I?
After let’s …, we use shall we?
- Let’s start, shall we?
There can be a subject in question tags.
There is something on the roof, isn’t there?
Sentences containing negative words like hardly, never, no, scarcely etc., are followed by non-negative tags.
- There is hardly anything we can do, is there? (NOT …, isn’t there?)
- It’s no good, is it?