A quick guide to Question Tags
These wonderful little “question-ettes” are a great way to make your English sound more native-like, as well as being a very useful tool.
- First, the formation: a question tag is added to the end of a sentence, using the same auxiliary verb as the sentence’s main verb, but with its “sign” flipped (affirmative becomes negative, and vice versa), plus the subject. As with making questions and negatives, if there isn’t already an auxiliary verb, “do” is used:
Bill has been to China before –> Bill has been to China before, hasn’t he?
Mary lives in Chicago –> Mary lives in Chicago, doesn’t she?
Kelly and Tyler just bought a house –> Kelly and Tyler just bought a house, didn’t they?
- Special note: since there is no contraction for “am not”, “aren’t” is used when the subject of the question is “I”:
I’m in a lot of trouble, aren’t I?
So, if you need a quick way to ask a question, or you’re just tired of always adding “really?” or “no?” or “right?” at the end of sentences, start using question tags!
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