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Lesson 6.2

Question Tags

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In English it is common to add a short question to the end of an affirmative or negative sentence. These short questions are known as question tags and they are used to ask the opinion or seek the approval of the person with whom we are speaking.

Examples:

 You eat meat, don’t you?
 She doesn’t like to dance, does she?
 Alex and Sergio are friends, aren’t they?

Grammatical Rules

To form question tags, we use the auxiliary verb from the main phrase in the opposite form plus the subject. If there is no auxiliary in the main phrase, we use “to do”.

If the sentence is affirmative, the question tag is therefore in the negative and vice versa.

Examples:

Affirmative sentences:

 Your brother is older than you, isn’t he?
 You can help me, can’t you?
 John is getting married, isn’t he?
 You worked yesterday, didn’t you?
 Sarah likes ice cream, doesn’t she?

Negative sentences:

 You’re not from here, are you?
 Kate’s not American, is she?
 Peter never liked Susan, did he?
 They didn’t go to class yesterday, did they?
 You can’t dance, can you?
Note: Be careful with the verbs “to have” and “have got”.

Examples:

To have got:

 They’ve got a dog, haven’t they?

To have:

 They have a dog, don’t they?

Exception: With the verb “to be” in the first person in affirmative sentences, we use the third person in the question tag (“aren’t”).

Examples:

 I am not wrong, am I?
 I am wrong, aren’t I?
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