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TAG QUESTIONS

Tag question is a statement which has been transformed into a question by putting a question tag at the end.

Rule: Use a question tag based on the subject-verb of the sentence. In the basic tag question formation, the rules below apply.


SUBJECT+ VERB (POSITIVE) .... .., (NEGATIVE) VERB+SUBJECT ?
eg: She came, didn't she? OR She did come, didn't she?
They are happy to be here, aren't they?

SUBJECT+ VERB (NEGATIVE) .... , (POSITIVE) VERB+SUBJECT ?
eg: She doesn't like chores, does she?
They haven't been informed, have they?

However, this section will explain to you the exceptions of tag question formation. Not all sentence types follow the general rules above. The exceptions are as listed below.

  1. negative adverbs

    Sentences with negative adverbs such as hardly,never,barely, rarely,scarcely,seldom do not have a negative question tag at the end.

    They seldom come, don't they?     They seldom come, do they?     He is never available, isn't he?     He is never available, is he?    

  2. quantifiers with negative meaning

    Sentences with quantifiers denoting negative meaning such as no,none of, not one,neither of, not any, few, little, hardly any, scarcely any, not many do not require a negative question tag at the end.

    Note:

    The question tag for "few/not many/not one+NOUN" is .....they?

    The question tag for "little+NOUN" is .....it?

    The question tag for "no/scarcely any/hardly any/barely any/none of+ Countable NOUN" is .....they?

    The question tag for "no/scarcely any/hardly any/barely any/none of+ Uncountable NOUN" is .....it?

    The question tag for "few/not many/not one/none/scarcely any/hardly any/barely any+of+us" is .....we?

    The question tag for "few/not many/not one/none/scarcely any/hardly any/barely any+of+you" is .....you?

    Few men have the proper values to live through this age, don't they?   
    Few men have the proper values to live through this age, do they?   
    Little money was invested in this scheme, wasn't it?   
    Little money was invested in this scheme, was it?   

  3. Pronouns with negative meanings

    The subject of the sentence with negative meaning (none, nothing, neither, nobody, not many, few, little, hardly any, scarcely any) does not require a negative question tag at the end

    Note:

    The question tag for "none/nothing/not many/few/nobody/neither" is .....they?

    The question tag for "nothing" is .....it?

    The question tag for "little + NOUN" is .....it?

    None would survive the next world war, wouldn't they?
    None would survive the next world war, would they?
    Nothing is free these days, isn't it?
    Nothing is free these days, is it?

  4. Let's and Let

    When you use the word "let's", the question tag at the end must be "shall+we?"

    Let's visit the Archeological Museum, don't we?
    Let's visit the Archeological Museum, shall we?

    When you use the word "let", the question tag at the end must be "will/won't+you?"

    Let the prisoners go, could you?
    Let the prisoners go, will you?
    Let the prisoners go, won't you?

  5. Imperative sentences

    When the sentence is imperative, the question tag at the end must be "will/won't+you?"

    Come over for tea today, can you?
    Come over for tea today, will you?
    Come over for tea today, won't you?

    Do try these lovely scones, wouldn't you?
    Do try these lovely scones, will you?
    Do try these lovely scones, won't you?

  6. Short observations

    When you are making short observations about something non-living, the question tag at the end must be "isn't/aren't+it?"

    Nice day, ain't it?
    Nice day, isn't it?
    (It is a nice day,isn't it?)

    When you are making short observations about the something living, the question tag at the end must be "isn't/aren't+she/he/they?"

    Lovely girl, doesn't she?
    Lovely girl, isn't she?
    (She is a lovely girl, isn't she?)

    Beautiful creatures, isn't it?
    Beautiful creatures, aren't they?
    (They are beautiful creatures, aren't they?)

  7. Stating intentions

    When you wish to do something, the question tag at the end must be "may+I?"

    I wish to leave now, don't I?
    I wish to leave now, may I?

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