The use of tag questions in English (EFL/ESL Grammar: rules, use and practice)
Tag questions are short questions that we put at the end of statements in English. Tag questions are very easy to learn. We use tag questions to check information that we already think it is true. Sometimes, we use them to involve others in dialogues and conversations. Go over the following post to understand the rules and the use of tag questions in English
To form tag questions, we use an auxiliary verb (be, have, can, should…etc) and a subject pronoun such as : (I, he, she, they…etc.).
- Negative tag questions are usually contracted.
- Basically, if the main statement is positive, the tag question is negative and vice versa.
- If the main sentence includes an auxiliary as : (be, have or a modal as : could, should …etc.) we use it in the tag question. If it doesn’t include it we use (do or did depending on the tense).
- It is a beautiful day. Isn’t?
- You were at school. Weren’t you ?
- She is so cute. Isn’t she?
- She is not home. Is she?
- They weren’t abset. Were they?
- She couldn’t open the door. Could she?
Postive sentences, with negative tags
|Present simple ‘be’||She’s from london, isn’t she?|
|Present simple other verbs||They live in Morocco, don’t they?|
|Present continuous||We’re coming, aren’t we?|
|Past simple ‘be’||It was hot yesterday, wasn’t it?|
|Past simple other verbs||He wentout, didn’t he?|
|Past continuous||We were waiting, weren’t we?|
|Present perfect||They’ve been to Japan, haven’t they?|
|Present perfect continuous||She’s been sleeping, hasn’t she?|
|Past perfect||He had run a lot, hadn’t he?|
|Past perfect continuous||We’d been singing, hadn’t we?|
|Future simple||She’ll come at six, won’t she?|
|Future continuous||They’ll be studying, won’t they?|
|Future perfect||They’ll have finished by 6, won’t they?|
|Future perfect continuous||She’ll have been studying all day, won’t she?|
|Modals||He can lift the table, can’t he?|
|Modals||Laura must go, mustn’t he?|
Negative sentences, with positive tags
|Present simple ‘be’||He is not late, is he?|
|Present simple other verbs||She doesn’t have any milk, does she?|
|Present continuous||The tutor isn’t coming, is he?|
|Past simple ‘be’||He wasn’t at school, was she?|
|Past simple other verbs||They didn’t prepare for the test, did they?|
|Past continuous||You weren’t sleeping, were you?|
|Present perfect||She hasn’t eaten all the cake, has she?|
|Present perfect continuous||He hasn’t been running in this weather, has he?|
|Past perfect||We hadn’t been to London before, had we?|
|Past perfect continuous||You hadn’t been sleeping, had you?|
|Future simple||They won’t be late, will they?|
|Future continuous||He won’t be working tomorrow, will he?|
|Future perfect||She won’t have been here by 6, will she?|
|Future perfect continuous||He won’t have been sleeping all day, will he?|
|Modals||She can’t speak English, can she?|
|Modals||They mustn’t throw this here, must they?|
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