question tags

question tags

We often put small questions at the ends of sentences in speech.
    That's the postman, isn't it? You take sugar in tea, don't you?
    Not a very good film, was it?
We use these 'question tags' to ask if something is true, or to ask somebody to agree with us.
  • Structure
    We do not put question tags after questions.
      You're the new secretary, aren't you?
      (NOT Are you the new secretary, aren't you?)
    We put negative tags after affirmative sentences, and non-negative tags after negative sentences.
      [+ - ] [ - +]
      It's not warm, is it?
    If the main sentence has an auxiliary verb (or be), the question tag has the same auxiliary verb (or be).
    Sally can speak French, can't she?
    You haven't seen my keys,'have you?
    rF i'|
    The meeting's at ten, isn't it?
    +
    It's cold, isn't it?
    If the main sentence has no auxiliary verb, the question tag has do.
    You'like'oysters, 'don't'you?
    __cr ,
    Harrygave'you a cheque, 'didn'the?
  • Meaning and intonation
    We show the meaning of a question tag by the intonation. If the tag is a real question if we really want to know something, and are not sure of the answer we use a rising intonation: the voice goes up.
    The meeting's at four o 'clock, isnjjf?
    If the tag is not a real question if we are sure of the answer we use a falling intonation: the voice goes down.
    It's a beautiful day, WTH?
  • Requests
    We often ask for help or information by using the structure
      [negative sentence + question tag]
      You couldn't lend me a pound, could you?
      You haven't seen my watch anywhere, have you?
  • Note
    a. The question tag for I am is aren't l?
    I'm late, aren't I?
    b. After imperatives, we use won't you?(to invite people to do things) and will you? would you? can you? can't you? and could you?{to tell people to do things).
      Do sit down, won't you? Open a window, would you?
      Give me a hand, will you? Shut up, can't you?
      After a negative imperative, we use will you?
      Don't forget, will you?
      After Let's ... , we use shall we?
      Let's have a party, shall we?
    c. There can be a subject in question tags.
      There's something wrong, isn't there?
      There weren't any problems, were there?
    d. We use it in question tags to refer to nothing, and they to refer to nobody.
      Nothing can happen, can it? Nobody phoned, did they?
    We also use they to refer to somebody, everybody .
      Somebody wanted a drink, didn't they? Who was it?
  • --- >>>
  • 'copula1 verbs
  • 'social' language
  • (a) few and (a) little
  • (a)round and about
  • (be) used to + noun or... -ing
  • (Great) Britain, the United Kingdom, the British Isles and England
  • -ing form ('gerund')
  • -ing form after to
  • -ing form or infinitive?
  • abbreviations
  • about to
  • above and over
  • across and over
  • across and through
  • active verb forms
  • actual(ly)
  • adjectives ending in -Iy
  • adjectives without nouns
  • adjectives: order
  • adjectives: position
  • adverbs of manner
  • adverbs: position (details)
  • adverbs: position (general)
  • after (conjunction)
  • after (preposition); afterwards (adverb)
  • after all
  • afternoon, evening and night
  • ages
  • ago
  • all (of) with nouns and pronouns
  • all and every
  • all and whole
  • all right
  • all with verbs
  • all, everybody and everything
  • almost and nearly
  • also, as well and too
  • although and though
  • among and between
  • and
  • and after try, wait, go etc
  • another
  • any (= 'it doesn't matter which')
  • any and no: adverbs
  • appear
  • articles: a and an; pronunciation of the
  • articles: a/an
  • articles: countable and uncountable nouns
  • articles: introduction
  • articles: special rules and exceptions
  • articles: talking in general
  • articles: the
  • articles: the difference between a/an and the
  • as and like
  • as if and as though
  • as much/many ... as ...
  • as well as
  • as, because and since (reason)
  • as, when and while (things happening at the same time)
  • as...as ...
  • ask
  • at all
  • at, in and on (place)
  • at, in and on (time)
  • be + infinitive
  • be with auxiliary do
  • be: progressive tenses
  • because and because of
  • before (adverb)
  • before (conjunction)
  • before (preposition) and in front of
  • begin and start
  • big, large, great and tall
  • born
  • borrow and lend
  • both (of) with nouns and pronouns
  • both with verbs
  • both... and...
  • bring and take
  • British and American English
  • broad and wide
  • but = except
  • by: time
  • can and could: ability
  • can and could: forms
  • can with remember, understand, speak, play, see, hear, feel, taste and smell
  • can: permission, offers, requests and orders
  • can: possibility and probability
  • close and shut
  • come and go
  • comparison: comparative and superlative adjectives
  • comparison: comparative and superlative adverbs
  • comparison: much, far etc with comparatives
  • comparison: using comparatives and superlatives
  • conditional
  • conjunctions
  • contractions
  • countable and uncountable nouns
  • country
  • dare
  • dates
  • determiners
  • discourse markers
  • do + -ing
  • do and make
  • do: auxiliary verb
  • during and for
  • during and in
  • each and every
  • each other and one another
  • each: grammar
  • either... or...
  • either: determiner
  • ellipsis (leaving words out)
  • else
  • emphasis
  • emphatic structures with it and what
  • enjoy
  • enough
  • even
  • eventual(ly)
  • ever
  • every and every one
  • except
  • except and except for
  • exclamations
  • excuse me, pardon and sorry
  • expect, hope, look forward, wait, want and wish
  • explain
  • fairly, quite, rather and pretty
  • far and a long way
  • farther and further
  • fast
  • feel
  • fewer and less
  • for + object + infinitive
  • for, since, from, ago and before
  • for: purpose
  • future perfect
  • future progressive
  • future: introduction
  • future: present progressive and going to
  • future: shall and will (interpersonal uses)
  • future: shall/will (predictions)
  • future: simple present
  • gender (masculine and feminine language)
  • get (+ object) + verb form
  • get + noun, adjective, adverb particle or preposition
  • get and go: movement
  • go ... -ing
  • go meaning'become'
  • go: been and gone
  • had better
  • half (of)
  • hard and hardly
  • have (got) to
  • have (got): possession, relationships etc
  • have + object + verb form
  • have: actions
  • have: auxiliary verb
  • have: introduction
  • hear and listen (to)
  • help
  • here and there
  • holiday and holidays
  • home
  • hope
  • how and what... like?
  • if only
  • if so and if not
  • if-sentences with could and might
  • if: ordinary tenses
  • if: special tenses
  • ill and sick
  • imperative
  • in and into (prepositions)
  • in case
  • in spite of
  • indeed
  • infinitive after who, what, how etc
  • infinitive of purpose
  • infinitive without to
  • infinitive: negative, progressive, perfect, passive
  • infinitive: use
  • instead of... -ing
  • inversion: auxiliary verb before subject
  • inversion: whole verb before subject
  • irregular verbs
  • it's time
  • it: preparatory object
  • it: preparatory subject
  • last and the last
  • let's
  • letters
  • likely
  • long and for a long time
  • look
  • look (at), watch and see
  • marry and divorce
  • may and might: forms
  • may and might: permission
  • may and might: probability
  • mind
  • modal auxiliary verbs
  • more (of): determiner
  • most (of): determiner
  • much (of), many (of): determiners
  • much, many, a lot etc
  • must and have to; mustn't, haven't got to, don't have to, don't need to and needn't
  • must: deduction
  • must: forms
  • must: obligation
  • names and titles
  • nationality words
  • need
  • negative questions
  • negative structures
  • neither (of): determiner
  • neither, nor and not... either
  • neither... nor...
  • next and nearest
  • next and the next
  • no and none
  • no and not
  • no and not a/not any
  • no more, not any more, no longer, not any longer
  • non-progressive verbs
  • noun + noun
  • numbers
  • once
  • one and you: indefinite personal pronouns
  • one: substitute word
  • other and others
  • ought
  • own
  • participle clauses
  • participles used as adjectives
  • participles: 'present' and 'past' participles (-ing and -ed)
  • passive structures: introduction
  • passive verb forms
  • past tense with present or future meaning
  • past time: past perfect simple and progressive
  • past time: past progressive
  • past time: present perfect progressive
  • past time: present perfect simple
  • past time: simple past
  • past time: the past and perfect tenses (introduction)
  • perfect tenses with this is the first time..., etc
  • personal pronouns (I, me, it etc)
  • play and game
  • please and thank you
  • possessive with determiners (a friend of mine, etc)
  • possessive's: forms
  • possessive's: use
  • possessives: my and mine, etc
  • prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs
  • prepositions after particular words and expressions
  • prepositions and adverb particles
  • prepositions at the end of clauses
  • prepositions before particular words and expressions
  • prepositions: expressions without prepositions
  • present tenses: introduction
  • present tenses: present progressive
  • present tenses: simple present
  • progressive tenses with always
  • punctuation: apostrophe
  • punctuation: colon
  • punctuation: comma
  • punctuation: dash
  • punctuation: quotation marks
  • punctuation: semi-colons and full stops
  • question tags
  • questions: basic rules
  • questions: reply questions
  • questions: word order in spoken questions
  • quite
  • real(ly)
  • reflexive pronouns
  • relative pronouns
  • relative pronouns: what
  • relative pronouns: whose
  • relatives: identifying and non-identifying clauses
  • remind
  • reported speech and direct speech
  • reported speech: orders, requests, advice etc
  • reported speech: pronouns; 'here and now' words; tenses
  • reported speech: questions
  • requests
  • road and street
  • say and tell
  • see
  • seem
  • shall
  • short answers
  • should
  • should after why and how
  • should and would
  • should, ought and must
  • should: (If I were you) I should ...
  • similar words
  • since (conjunction of time): tenses
  • singular and plural: anybody etc
  • singular and plural: irregular plurals
  • singular and plural: plural expressions with singular verbs
  • singular and plural: pronunciation of plural nouns
  • singular and plural: singular words ending in -s
  • singular and plural: singular words with plural verbs
  • singular and plural: spelling of plural nouns
  • slow(ly)
  • small and little
  • smell
  • so am I, so do I etc
  • so and not with hope, believe etc
  • some and any
  • some/any and no article
  • some: special uses
  • somebody and anybody, something and anything, etc
  • sound
  • spelling and pronunciation
  • spelling: -ise and -ize
  • spelling: -ly
  • spelling: capital letters
  • spelling: ch and tch, k and ck
  • spelling: doubling final consonants
  • spelling: final -e
  • spelling: full stops with abbreviations
  • spelling: hyphens
  • spelling: ie and ei
  • spelling: y and i
  • still, yet and already
  • subject and object forms
  • subjunctive
  • such and so
  • suggest
  • surely
  • sympathetic
  • take
  • take (time)
  • tall and high
  • taste
  • telephoning
  • telling the time
  • tenses in subordinate clauses
  • that: omission
  • the same
  • there is
  • think
  • this and that
  • too
  • travel, journey and trip
  • unless and if not
  • until and by
  • until and to
  • used to + infinitive
  • verbs with object complements
  • verbs with two objects
  • way
  • weak and strong forms
  • well
  • when and if
  • whether and if
  • whether... or...
  • which, what and who: question words
  • who ever, what ever, how ever etc
  • whoever, whatever, whichever, however, whenever and wherever
  • will
  • wish
  • worth ... -ing
  • would
  • would rather
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