Ram works hard, doesn't he?
He is not coming, is he?
A short Question following a sentence is called a question tag.
Rules for Making Question Tag
- The sentence and the question tag must be in the same tense.
- If the Sentence is positive, the question tag must be negative and vice versa.
- Always use pronoun in the question tag.
- For negative question tag, use the Contracted form of 'helping verb' and 'not' .E.g didn't, hadn't, won't etc.
Some Important Rules
Rule- 1 :: There is no contracted form of 'am not' but 'aren't' is used in question tag.
- Eg- I am fine, aren't I?
Rule-2 :: Each, every, everyone, everybody, no one, nobody, none are singular and hence will take singular verb/ singular pronoun/ singular adjective with them but their question tag will take plural verb and plural pronoun.
- E.g- Everyone has come, hasn't he ( Incorrect)
- Everyone has come, haven't they (correct)
- None of your friends like her, do they
- Everyone can speak English, can't they?
Rule-3:: Collective noun takes singular verb and singular pronoun in question tag.
- E.g.- The jury has taken its decision, hasn't it?
Rule-4:: If we talk about the individual members of the collective noun or if there is a difference in opinion among the members of the collective noun, plural verb and plural pronoun are used.
- E.g.- The comm are divided in their opinion, aren't they?
- The audience have taken their seats, haven't they?
Rule-5:: Some words are negative in meaning . For e.g. hardly, seldom, scarcely, rarely, barely etc. Hence they will take positive question tag after them.
- E.g.- He hardly does any work, does he?
- He found barely anything to eat , did he?
- He is seldom absent, is he?
Rule-6:: If the sentence starts with "let us/ let's ", " shall we" is used in the question.
- E.g.- Let us go to party tonight, shall we?
Rule-7:: In Imperative sentences, question tag 'won't you' is used.
- E.g- come in, won't you?
Rule-8:: If in a imperative sentence, somebody is being offered anything, or if someone is being asked to do something, "will you/ would you" is used in the question tag.
- E.g- Open the door, would you?
- Have some more tea, would you?
Rule-9:: "Can't You" is used in the question tag to express impatience.
- E.g- Shut your mouth, Can't you?
Rule-10:: In negative imperative sentence , "will you?" is used in the question tag.
- E.g- Do not worry, will you?
Rule-11:: If a sentence starts with "There", the question tag will have "there" in the place of pronoun.
- E.g- There is no water , is there?
- There were no good schools in the town, were there?
Rule-12:: Question tag is always made in accordance with the main part of the sentence.
- E.g- I think, he is right, isn't he? (Here 'I think' is not important and hence it is not the main part of the sentence".
Questions for Practice
Provide suitable question tag for the following sentences.
- I am happy.
- I don't write letters.
- I didn't go to college yesterday.
- It is very cold.
- You haven't eaten anything.
- She doesn't drive carelessly.
- I have called him up.
- The boys are quite boisterous.
- My friend Ram is an egoist.
- God is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
- arent't I
- do I
- Did I?
- Isn't it?
- have you?
- does she?
- haven't I?
- aren't they?
- isn't he?
- isn't he?