In this post I want to talk about using question tags. To see my YouTube video on the subject, click here or click here to check out my website.
In English we use question tags as a way of moving a conversation on (i.e. keeping it going).
To use a question tag, we make a statement then we put a two word tag at the end of the statement, which we hope will make the other person or people in conversation with us continue the conversation.
“It’s a beautiful day”
“Yes it is. (or no it’s not)”
Q: “It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?”
A: “Yes it is”
You’ve been to Spain
Yes I have. (or no I haven’t)
Q: “You’ve been to Spain, haven’t you?”
A: Yes I have.
How to make a question tag.
The first part of the any sentence using question tags is a statement, and it is the statement that is the key to the question tag.
In our example statement, “It’s a beautiful day”, we can see that the first part of the statement are the words “It is”.
To make the question tag, we use these two words and do two actions to them!
The first action is to reverse the word order:
“It is” = “is it”
The second action is to change the verb from positive to negative, if the verb is positive, or from negative to positive if the verb is negative.
In this example the verb is positive so we change it to negative.
“Is” = “isn’t”
This then gives us the question tag; “isn’t it?”
“It’s a nice day, isn’t it?”
In our second example, the statement is:
“You’ve been to Spain”
So to make the question tag we take the first two words in the statement; “You have”, reverse the order, “have you” and make the verb negative “haven’t” which makes the question tag “haven’t you”
“You’ve been to Spain, haven’t you?”
If the sentence is negative, the same rule applies:
“You don’t like wet weather, do you?”
The first two words in the sentence are “You don’t”.
Applying the rule we reverse the order, “You don’t” = “don’t you”, now we make the negative verb positive, “don’t = do”, this gives us the question tag “do you”
Remember English is Easy, especially if your teacher is good!
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