• 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
A question sentence, on the contrary, is used
to get the answer.
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
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
There are four simple points we should follow
when we use a Tag-question:
A comma is used between the main sentence
and the ‘tag’ part, e.g.
This is your book isn’t it?
► 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?
Point 2 (continued)
Ted and Jerry got their books, didn’t ?
‘Ted and Jerry’ – Proper nouns – male – plural
Personal Pronoun – male -- plural
The verb in the ‘tag’ part depends on the verb in the
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.
Point 3 (continued)
Brad hasn’t done his work, he?
‘hasn’t’ – Present perfect – NEGATIVE
Present perfect -- POSITIVE
• Point 4 -- 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.
Point 4 – word order (continued)
A woman fainted, didn’t she?
Subject first; verb next
Verb first; subject next
Mr McGuinness is from Ireland, ?
The car isn't in the garage, ?
You are John, ?
She went to the library yesterday, ?
He didn't recognize me, ?
Cars pollute the environment, ?
Mr. Pritchard has been to Scotland recently, ?
The trip is very expensive, ?
He won't tell her, ?
Hugh had a red car, ?
Mr McGuinness is from Ireland, isn't he ?
The car isn't in the garage, is it ?
You are John, aren't you ?
She went to the library yesterday, didn't she ?
He didn't recognize me, did he ?
Cars pollute the environment, don't they ?
Mr. Pritchard has been to Scotland recently, hasn't he ?
The trip is very expensive, isn't it ?
He won't tell her, will he ?
Hugh had a red car, didn't he ?