Tag Questions

Charles Kaye Okoye By Charles Kaye Okoye, 4th Jun 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Tips

People often experience difficulty in the use of Question tags. This piece is meant to handle the rules of the grammar as it concerns the use of the topic.

Tag Question And Rules

These are questions asked at the end of a statement to indicate the authenticity of the statement. Auxiliary verbs are normally employed to form the tag question.

Guidelines for Using Tag Questions
a. When the statement is positive, the tag is negative, but when the statement is negative, the tag is positive.
E.g.: I can dance very well, can’t I?
I cannot play football very well, can I?
She is afraid, isn’t she?
She is not afraid, is she?

b. When the auxiliary verb is used in the statement, it is the auxiliary verb that is repeated at the tag column.
E.g.: He has gone home, hasn’t he?
He has not gone home, has he?
They have eaten, haven’t they?
They have not eaten, have they?

c. When the lexical verb is used in the statement, the correct negative tense of ‘do’ is introduced in the tag column.
E.g.: He knows the woman, doesn’t he?
He came here yesterday, didn’t he?

d. When the auxiliary verb is used as a lexical, and not helping any other verb, the correct tense of ‘do’ is used in the tag.
E.g.: He has a home in London, doesn’t he?
He had a hair cut today, didn’t he?

e. When an imperative statement is made, the correct tag is ‘will you?’. Imperative statements are statements that give orders or commands.
E.g.: Come here quickly, will you?
Fetch me some water, will you?

f. When the expression ‘let us’ is used to begin a statement, the correct tag is ‘shall we?’
E.g.: Let us go home, shall we?
Let us attend the party, shall we?

g. When the indefinite pronoun ‘everybody, somebody, or nobody’ is used in a statements, it requires the plural pronoun ‘they’.
E.g.: Everybody ate to satisfaction, didn’t they?
Nobody knew the correct answer, did they?

h. When the primary auxiliary ‘I am’ is used positively, the correct tag is ‘aren’t’, but if it is used negatively, the correct tag is ‘am I’.
E.g.: I am in the school, aren’t I?
I am not dishonest, am I?

i. When a statement is given in the form of a report, the person who actually carried out the action in the statement is introduced in the tag.
E.g.: You told me the lady insulted you, didn’t she.


Education, English, Grammar, Grammar And Style, Grammar Help, Grammar Tips, Grammatical Errors, Questions, Tag, Writing

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author avatar Charles Kaye Okoye
I am an easygoing person, considerate, and personable. I am open minded, but not pliable. I will be writing of family, politics, education, life.

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author avatar Sulaiman Basir
4th Jun 2012 (#)

This is good for any writer, thanks.

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author avatar Charles Kaye Okoye
5th Jun 2012 (#)

Thank you Sulaiman, you're doing great with your own piece.

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