Question Tags Meaning
In English, people often make a statement and then add a little question at the end of it. We frequently hear people saying things like:
Peter works hard, doesn’t he?
She came home late, didn’t she?
He doesn’t like reading, does he?
She can’t see very well, can she?
This type of sentence—a statement followed by a little question called a question tag — is generally used when we want the listener to confirm what we have said.
Notice that the first and second statements :
- Peter works hard
- She came home late
are followed by negative question tags
- —doesn’t he?
- —didn’t she?
the third and fourth statements :
- (iii) He doesn’t like reading
- (iv) She can’t see very well
are followed by positive question tags:
—does he? — can she?
So we see that when the statement is positive, the tag is negative and when the statement is negative, the tag is positive.
Here are some more examples :
- You are coming tomorrow, aren’t you?
She speaks English, doesn’t she?
You know her well, don’t you?
You have met her before, haven’t you?
He came early this morning, didn’t he?
She will visit us tomorrow, won’t she?
- He can’t understand English, can he?
You shouldn’t tell lies, should you?
He hasn’t finished his work yet, has he?
She doesn’t look well, does she?
She didn’t tell lies, did she?
She won’t help us, will she?
Exercise 1 – Add the appropriate positive question tags to the following:
- She didn’t come home late.
- She hasn’t paid her fees yet.
- Mary didn’t pass her examination.
- They haven’t had tea yet.
- They didn’t tell lies.
- We can’t cross the street here.
- The horse didn’t win the race.
- They won’t help us.
- They aren’t clever enough.
- He wasn’t present at the party
- They don’t know her.
- She hasn’t come yet.
- The boy wouldn’t speak the truth.
- We mustn’t be impatient.
- She shouldn’t tell lies.
Exercise 2 – Add the appropriate negative question tags
- A farmer is an important person.
- He grows food for the country.
- All the students have done well.
- Judges wear wigs.
- We must serve our country.
- We ought to help her.
- She’ll visit us tomorrow.
- The fisherman caught nothing.
- They could go early if they wanted.
- We must leave soon.
- We ought to go to bed now.
- He usually comes home late.
- She came early this morning.
- I will see her
- We had to finish our homework quickly.