Tag Questions


What is a tag question?

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A tag question is a sentence with a small part at the end that makes it a question.

For example:

You like kittens.

Tag Questions

This is a statement, not a question.

Now we add a small part at the end of it:

You like kittens, don't you?

You like kittens, don't you?

Now this sentence is a question. We call it a tag question.

The little part at the end (after the comma) is called a question tag.
(A tag is a word or phrase that is added to a sentence.)


Why do we need these question tags?

We use questions tags (such as "don't you?", "isn't it?") to turn statements into questions, or to check that a statement is correct.

It's like saying, "Am I right?" or "Is that correct?"

Using question tags can help you sound more natural in English.


Tag question rules

Positive statements

In most cases, the helping verb (or BE verb) from the positive statement is repeated in the tag and changed to negative.

Example sentences:

Statement: Brenda is sad.

Question tag: isn't she?

Tag question: Brenda is sad, isn't she?
Brenda is sad, isn't she?


Statement: Dinner is ready.

Question tag: isn't it?

Tag question: Dinner is ready, isn't it?
Dinner is ready, isn't it?


Statement: You are good friends.

Question tag: aren't you?

Tag question: You are good friends, aren't you?
You are good friends, aren't you?


Statement: I will be fine.

Question tag: won't I?

Tag question: I will be fine, won't I?
I will be fine, won't I?


Statement: You can handle it.

Question tag: can't you?

Tag question: You can handle it, can't you?
You can handle it, can't you?


Statement: She really must get some sleep.

Question tag: mustn't she?

Tag question: She really must get some sleep, mustn't she?
She really must get some sleep, mustn't she?


Statement: I should give it back.

Question tag: shouldn't I?

Tag question: I should give it back, shouldn't I?
I should give it back, shouldn't I?


Statement: You do feel nervous.

Question tag: don't you?

Tag question: You do feel nervous, don't you?
You do feel nervous, don't you?

If there is no helping verb in the statement, then we usually use "don't":

Statement: You work hard.

Question tag: don't you?

Tag question: You work hard, don't you?
You work hard, don't you?


Statement: Lucas loves his father.

Question tag: doesn't he?

Tag question: Lucas loves his father, doesn't he?
Lucas loves his father, doesn't he?


Negative statements

In most cases, the helping verb (or BE verb) from the negative statement is repeated in the tag and changed to positive.

Example sentences:

Statement: Brenda isn't happy.

Question tag: is she?

Tag question: Brenda isn't happy, is she?
Brenda isn't happy, is she?


Statement: Dinner isn't ready.

Question tag: is it?

Tag question: Dinner isn't ready, is it?
Dinner isn't ready, is it?


Statement: You aren't strangers.

Question tag: are you?

Tag question: You aren't strangers, are you?
You aren't strangers, are you?


Statement: I won't be fine.

Question tag: will I?

Tag question: I won't be fine, will I?
I won't be fine, will I?


Statement: You can't handle it.

Question tag: can you?

Tag question: You can't handle it, can you?
You can't handle it, can you?


Statement: She really mustn't stay up so late.

Question tag: must she?

Tag question: She really mustn't stay up so late, must she?
She really mustn't stay up so late, must she?


Statement: I shouldn't keep it.

Question tag: should I?

Tag question: I shouldn't keep it, should I?
I shouldn't keep it, should I?


Statement: You don't look so good.

Question tag: do you?

Tag question: You don't look so good, do you?
You don't look so good, do you?

Note that words such as "never" make the statement negative, so:

Statement: Bobo never barks.

Question tag: does he?

Tag question: Bobo never barks, does he?
Bobo never barks, does he?


Tag questions exercises

Tag questions exercises: Practice different kinds of tag questions: adding tag questions to sentences with the verb BE, sentences in the simple present tense, and sentences with modal verbs (positive and negative sentences). Check your answers automatically.


Tag question summary table

Statement Question tag
Positive ( + ) Negative ( - )
The movie is long, isn't it?
The kids are sleeping, aren't they?
We will win, won't we?
She must be right, mustn't she?
He should be home, shouldn't he?
Negative ( - ) Positive ( + )
The movie isn't long, is it?
The kids aren't sleeping, are they?
We will not win, will we?
She must not be right, must she?
He should not be home, should he?

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