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Lesson Nineteen

Tag Questions

A tag question starts out as a statement and then becomes a question at the end. There are different reasons for using tag questions, but usually it's because you have an idea of what the answer might be.

Examples:

You want to learn English, don't you?

We've had some really good weather, haven't we?

She can help you with your homework, can't she?

Notice the subject is repeated at the end of the question, and the helping verb (auxiliary verb) is used to reinforce the tense of the verb.

The first question is in the present tense; therefore, use "do" as the helping verb. In this question, I know you want to learn English:

You want to learn English, don't you?

The second question is in the present perfect; therefore, use "have" as the helping verb. Remember that your choice of helping verb sometimes depends on the subject. In this question, we both know that the weather has been great:

We've had some really nice weather, haven't we?

How about a question in which "he" is the subject and there's a contraction:

He's made a lot of friends in school, hasn't he?

The third question uses a modal verb, "can," so you simply make it negative before the subject. In this question, I think the person can help you, but I might not be sure:

She can help you with your homework, can't she?

Tag questions can start out in the negative and then end in the affirmative:

It hasn't been a very good day, has it?

They don't like to eat different kinds of food, do they?

You wouldn't do that, would you?

 

Here are some more examples:

 

She's very beautiful, isn't she?

(We all agree that this is a beatiful woman.)

The baby doesn't want to eat her food, does she?

(It's obvious that this baby isn't going to eat.)

 

baby

She's done something really interesting to her hair, hasn't she?

(Dying your hair purple is interesting--although you may or may not like it. I like it, but you might not like it. However, I want you to agree with me.)

 

Here's a video explaining tag questions:

 

 

You can practice with a quiz. Click here.

 

Next: Lesson 20

embedded questions

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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