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Question tags

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  •  Are questions at the end of the statement
  •  Used in spoken language
  •  Used for confirming information or asking for someone’s agreement or disagreement
  •  Form: Question tag = Auxiliary + Subject

A POSITIVE STATEMENT, A NEGATIVE QUESTION TAG?

A POSITIVE STATEMENT

A NEGATIVE QUESTION TAG

 You are (a doctor)

 aren’t you?

 She is (a doctor)

 isn’t she?

 They were (doctors)

 weren’t they?

 She was (a doctor)

 wasn’t she?

 You run (very fast)

 don’t you?

 He runs (very fast)

 doesn’t he?

 They ran (very fast)

 didn’t they?

 You have (finished the homework)

 haven’t you?

 She has (finished the homework)

 hasn’t she?

 They had (finished the homework)

 hadn’t they?

 He can (swim well)

 can’t he?

 She could (swim well)

 couldn’t she?

 They will (come early)

 won’t they?

 They would (come early)

 wouldn’t they?

 They must (come early)

 mustn’t they?

 They should (come early)

 shouldn’t they?

  • He’s 6 years old, isn’t he?
  • You’re reading, aren’t you?
  • They’ve just had breakfast, haven’t they?

A NEGATIVE STATEMENT, A POSITIVE QUESTION TAG?

A NEGATIVE STATEMENT

A POSITIVE QUESTION TAG

You aren’t (a doctor)

 are you?

 She isn’t (a doctor)

is she?

They weren’t (doctors)

were they?

 She wasn’t (a doctor)

 was she?

You don’t run (very fast)

 do you?

 He doesn’t run (very fast)

 does he?

 They didn’t run (very fast)

 did they?

You haven’t (finished the homework)

 have you?

 She hasn’t (finished the homework)

 has she?

 They hadn’t (finished the homework)

 had they?

 He can’t (swim well)

 can he?

She couldn’t (swim well)

 could she?

 They won’t (come early)

 will they?

 They wouldn’t (come early)

 would they?

 They mustn’t (come early)

 must they?

 They shouldn’t (come early)

 should they?

  • You haven’t answers all the questions in the test, have you?
  • Kelly didn’t help you, did she?
  • Tom couldn’t pass the exam, could he?

Exceptions:

Pay attention to the following question tags. They don’t follow any rules.

Statements

Question tags

Examples

I am …

 aren’t I?

 I am too loud, aren’t I?

Let’s …

shall we?

 Let’s go to the beach, shall we?

Statements without subjects

Ex:

- Open the door.

- Don’t come any closer.

will you?

 - Open the door, will you?

- Listen, will you?

- Don’t come any closer, will you?

 Positive statements with negative senses

Ex:

- She can hardly understand what I have experienced.

- Nobody remembered to turn off the light.

 Positive question tags

- She can hardly understand what I have experienced, can she?

- George could hardly speak any English words, could he?

- Nobody remembered to turn off the light, did they?

Intonation

Depending on the speaker’s purposes, intonations for question tags are different.

He should review the whole lessons, shouldn’t he?

Intonation

falling, voice goes down

rising, voice goes up

Meanings

You’re sure about the information. You want to confirm.

You’re not sure about the information. You want to check.

 

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