Question Tags and Formation Rules with examples

Friends! Today we are going to study about an interesting topic of English Grammar “Question Tags and Formation Rules with examples”. Like this, it is very easy and small topic, but without its full knowledge, there is often a mistake in its use. If you understand this topic well then believe that you will never have any problem in using it. Let’s understand :

What is Question Tags

Friends! The Question Tag is a type of short question. These are questions with a “Yes or No” answer. Keep in mind that there is a difference between question and question tags.

Question is a complete sentence in itself. And it is also used independently. While Question Tags are two short words, which are added to the end of a sentence. It is not used independently.

Many times people end their talk with a short question to know whether the person they are talking to agrees with them or not. This is called short question or tag question.

In Easy Words, We can say that A question that is asked to confirm a statement or sentence is called a Question Tag. This question tag consists of two words which (by adding them at the end of a sentence or statement) translate it into question. Such as :

  • She is beautiful. Isn’t she?

Friends! Now you have understood about Question Tags. Ok, let us know which rules we should keep in mind to make question tags.

Structure Rules of Question Tags

  • A Negative question tag is always used at the end of a positive statement that expects an answer in “Yes” and a Positive question tag is added to the end of a negative statement that expects an answer in “No”.

— To create Question Tags, you follow the structure below :

Negative Question Tag :Helping Verb +n’t (Negative)Pronoun ?
Positive Question Tag :Helping Verb +Pronoun ?
  • When creating a question tag, “helping verb + not” is always written in abbreviated form, such as :
    • is not — isn’t
    • are not — aren’t
  • And the pronoun is used according to the subject used in the sentence.

Negative Question tags with Positive statement :

TensePositive StatementNegative Tags
Present Simple He eats mango, doesn’t he?
Present ContinuousI am writing a letter, aren’t I?
Present Perfect We have finished Home work,haven’t we?
Present Perfect Continuous You have been studying since Morning,haven’t You?
Past Simple She sang a song,didn’t she?
Past Continuous They were washing clothes, weren’t They?
Past Perfect She had cooked food in the Kitchen,hadn’t she?
Past Perfect Continuous You had been watching TV for 2 hours,hadn’t you?
Future SimpleShe will speak in English,won’t she?
Future Continuous They will be drinking Milk, won’t they?
Future Perfect He will have played Football, won’t he?
Future Perfect ContinuousShe will have been sleeping for 5 hours, won’t she?
Modals He can sing a song, can’t he?

Positive Question tags with Negative statement :

TenseNegative Statement Positive Tags
Present Simple He does not eat mango, does he?
Present ContinuousI am not writing a letter, am I?
Present Perfect We have not finished Home work,have we?
Present Perfect Continuous You have not been studying since Morning,have You?
Past Simple She did not sing a song,did she?
Past Continuous They were not washing clothes, were They?
Past Perfect She had not cooked food in the Kitchen,had she?
Past Perfect Continuous You had not been watching TV for 2 hours,had you?
Future SimpleShe will not speak in English,will she?
Future Continuous They will not be drinking Milk, will they?
Future Perfect He will not have played Football, will he?
Future Perfect ContinuousShe will not have been sleeping for 5 hours, will she?
Modals He can not sing a song, can he?

Formation Rules of Question Tags

Rule : 1.

When a sentence begins with “there is” or “there are”, the use of the question tag for such a statement is “isn’t there?” or “aren’t there?” and vice versa.

For Example :

01.There is a chance to win this match,isn’t there?
02.There are lots of books in the library, aren’t there?

Rule : 2.

If there is no helping verb in any sentence, then the question tag is used according to the tense and verb form. Understand from the table below :

First Form of the Verb + s/esdoesn’t
First Form of the Verbdon’t
Second Form of the Verbdidn’t

For Example :

01.He likes her so much, doesn’t he?
02.She taught me English,didn’t she?

Rule : 3.

Question tags are also used in the following situation :

  • When we want to correct or confirm any information, like :
01.You are Pooja, aren’t you?
02.This is a Hotel Taaj,isn’t it?
  • When we want to be friendly, like :
01.You look beautiful today, don’t you?
02.That is a new bike, isn’t it?
  • When we want to agree with someone else, like :
01.Shakespeare was a great poet, wasn’t he?
02.She isn’t very beautiful, is she?
  • When we get angry with someone, like :
01.You broke the window,didn’t you?
02.You didn’t write this Letter, did you?
  • When you want to get your work done by someone, like :
01.You will help me, won’t you?
02.You won’t give me a pen, Will you ?
  • When we want to know the right answer to a question, like :
01.You are Anil’s Brother, aren’t you?
02.That was a good movie, wasn’t it?

Rule : 4.

When Modal Verbs are used in a sentence, only the Modal Verbs are used in their Question Tags :

For Example :

01.You can go now, can’t you?
02.We mustn’t be late, must we?
03.You could help me, couldn’t you?
04.We should always respect parents, shouldn’t we?

Rule : 5.

If “I am” is used in any sentence, the use of Question Tag is “aren’t”.

For Example :

01.I am your best friend, aren’t I?
02.I’m not angry, am I?

Rule : 6.

Some pronouns used as a subject in a sentence are changed as follows when making a Question Tag :

TheyEveryoneSomeoneAnyoneNo One / None

For Example :

01.Everything is ok,isn’t it?
02.Somebody is trying to find it,aren’t they?

Rule : 7.

If a sentence uses “Each, Every, Everyone, Everybody, None, No one, Nobody” etc. then it is used with singular verb but in Question Tag, Plural verb and Pronoun are used for them.

For Example :

01.Everyone wants to watch this movie,don’t they?
02.No one can speak English,can they?

Rule : 8.

When “has/have” is used in a sentence as a main verb, not as a helping verb, we use the helping verb “do” in the Question Tag.

For Example :

01.I have a new car. don’t I?
02.She has a walk every morning, doesn’t she?

Rule : 9.

When creating a question tag of an Imperative sentence, use “will you / won’t you”.

For Example :

01.Come in,won’t you?
02.Don’t clean the room,will you?

Rule : 10.

When a sentence starts with “Let us” or “Let’s”, the question tag uses “Shall we”.

For Example :

01.Let us go to study,shall we?
02.Let us enjoy the party tonight, shall we?

Rule : 11.

If “Not” is not used in a sentence, but “No, None, No one, Nobody, Nothing, Neither, Never, Few, Little, Rarely, Hardly, Barely, Scarcely, Seldom etc.” is used in that sentence. Such sentences are negative for which only the Positive question tag is used.

For Example :

01.None of your students learn this lesson, do they?
02.No one has finished home work, have they?

Thus friends! These are Question Tags and Formation Rules with examples, based on which you can easily create question tags. You must remember the structure and rules about question tags, so that you do not have any difficulty in using them. And also practice them again and again.

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