- Question tags are placed at the end of statement in a way that transforms it into a question. They are used almost exclusively during informal, oral interactions. There are either positive or negative question tags, depending on the main statement.
|Positive statement, +||Negative question tag|
|Negative statement, +||Positive question tag|
- A question tag must be the opposite of the main statement. If the main statement is positive, the question tag is negative (and vice versa). It is formed with the verb followed by the subject pronoun.
|Jasmine is a teacher, isn’t she?|
|Malina doesn’t like broccoli, does she?|
|Maia likes skiing, doesn’t she?|
|Henry passed his exam, didn’t he?|
- If the verb is in the simple present, form the question tag with "do" or "does". If the verb is in the simple present and is a form of "to be," use "to be" again in the question tag. If it’s in the past simple, use "did." For future tense, use "will" or "won’t." In general, the question tag matches the tense in the main statement.
|He ate his lunch, didn’t he?|
|They didn’t pack a lunch, did they?|
|We don’t take off our shoes, do we?|
|She’s coming for dinner, isn’t she?|
|They are delicious, aren’t they?|
|I’ll speak next, won’t I?|
|He’ll study tonight, won’t he?|
While it is more common to use a contracted verb, you are not required to use a contraction of "not" in your negative question tag. Instead, you can build the question tag with the verb, subject pronoun, and "not." This construction of a sentence tag is more formal that the first.
|She’s perfect, is she not?|
|He bought the boat, did he not?|