Question tags-form

Positive statement + negative tag

A negative tag is formed of an auxiliary verb + n’t and a pronoun.
• It is very warm, isn’t it?

Negative statement + positive tag

A postive tag is formed of an auxiliary verb and a pronoun.
• It isn’t very warm, is it?

The pronoun (you, shethey…) refers to the subject of the sentence, e.g. youJohn, Sally, they

Positive statement + negative tag Negative statement + positive tag
  • You’ve been here before, haven’t you?
• It’ll be dawn soon, won’t it?
• They can play tennis, can’t they?
• They are really nice, aren’t they?
  • You haven’t been here before, have you?
• It won’t be dark soon, will it?
• They can’t play tennis, can they?
• They aren’t very nice, are they?

In the Present Simple and Past Simple we use a form of do.

Positive statement + negative tag Negative statement + positive tag
  • You drive, don’t you?
• It rained, didn’t it?
• They play tennis, don’t they?
• You made a mistake, didn’t you?
• She showed you the letter, didn’t she?
  • You don’t drive, do you?
• It didn’t rain, did it?
• They don’t play tennis, do they?
• You didn’t make a mistake, did you?
• She didn’t show you the letter, did she?

The answer yes means that the positive is true, and no means that the negative is true.
• Sally goes to Oxford University, doesn’t she?
Yes, she does. (She goes to Oxford University.)
• John is a photographer, isn’t he?
Yes, I believe he is. (He is a photographer.)
• You’re not engaged, are you?
No, of course we’re not. (We aren’t engaged.)
• Terry likes theatre, doesn’t she?
No, she doesn’t. (She doesn’t like theatre.)

 

Requests and suggestions

After a request with an imperative (e.g. Wait…), we can use can you? or could you?
  • Wait here a moment, can you?
  • Give me an example, could you?

We can also use You couldn’t …, could you? or You haven’t …, have you? for a request.
• You couldn’t help me, could you?
• You haven’t got a pound, have you? 

After Don’t … the tag is will you?
• Don’t make so much noise, will you?

After Let’s … we use shall we?
• Let’s go for a walk, shall we?