Question Tags – Formation Rules

Question Tag

A question tag is used at the end of a statement and changes that statement into a question. Question tags are mainly used in spoken English or informal English. We don’t use question tags in written or formal English. We can use them in writing to quote somebody’s words.In this post , I’ll discuss Question Tags – formation rules.

Why are question tags used

They are used in English to:
confirm that something is true or not, or to get a reply or ask for agreement from a person we are speaking to.

How to use a question tag?

As you know that a question tag is used at the end of a statement. If the statement is positive,  a question tag will be negative.
For example
She is beautiful, isn’t she?
She is beautiful is a positive statement that’s why the question tag ‘isn’t she?’ will be negative with not in it.
• If a statement is negative, a question tag will be positive.
For example :
You can’t finish it today, can you?
You can’t finish it today is a negative statement that’s why the question tag an you? will be positive without not in it.

Formation Rules for Question Tags

1. Question Tags are formed with the auxiliary verb or modal verb or verb to be from the statement and the appropriate subject. If the subject is noun, we replace that noun with pronoun.
For example:
•She is working hard, isn’t she?
She is working hard. – Positive Statement
Is -auxiliary verb
She – subject
Structure of question tag :
Is + not + she + ? = isn’t she?
• She couldn’t solve it, could she?

•He was not sleeping there, was he?

•You have proved it, haven’t you

•Hary will do it, won’t he?

2.  If the main verb or auxiliary verb in the statement is am, the positive question tag is am I?  If the statement is positive having am  as the main or auxiliary verb the negative question tag is usually ‘aren’t I ?’ which is written as ‘ain’t I?’ also.
For example:
•I’m not sleeping, am I?
•I am not your friend, am I?
•I am your friend,  ain’t I?
•I am there for you, ain’t I?

3. If the statement is in simple present Tense, we use does/ doesn’t or do/ don’t in the question tag.
He works hard, doesn’t he?
• He doesn’t work hard, does he?
• Alisha sings well, doesn’t she?
• You do not know him, do you?
• They care for you, don’t they?

4. If the statement is in simple past tense, we use did/didn’t in the question tag.
For example:

• I invited you for the meeting,  didn’t I?
• Rosy didn’t do it, did she?
• He finished his work, didn’t he?
• He didn’t finish his work, did he?

Try to attempt a Quiz based on this post. Question Tags Quiz

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