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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Question tags - HELP native speakers    

Question tags - HELP native speakers


Question tags - HELP native speakers

Hi, which is correct....


He is rather agressive, IS he/ ISN �T he?
It will be difficult to get aid to all these people, WILL it/ WON �T it?
There have been some terrible scenes on the tv, HAVE there/ HAVEN �T there?
Thanks in advance.

14 Aug 2018      

United Kingdom



"He is rather aggressive, isn �t he?" 
"It will be difficult to get aid to all those people, won �t it."
"There have been some terrible scenes on the TV, haven �t there?
Here is Page 1 of my WS on Tag Questions, which explains exactly how Tag Questions are made. It has copied VERY BADLY. I apologise. Another of my WSs has a complete list of Contractions.

Question Tags (or Tag Questions)

In English, when we speak, (or when we write informally), we often add, (or ‘tag’), a small question at the end of the sentence. We use the question tag, because we want to check that the information is true; or we want to ask the other person if he/she agrees with us.

In French, they ask: “N’est-ce pas?”: In Italian: “È vero?”; in German: “Nicht wahr?”; etc.

In English, we ask the question by using Question Tags, FORMED from the original verb.


a)    The question tag can be positive:

                                         It’s not very warm, is it?”

b)    Or, the question tag can be negative:

                                         It’s very warm, isn’t it?”


We put positive question tags after negative statements.

ê                                                                                                                                                                       We put negative question tags after positive statements.

ê                                                                                                                                                                                                           ê                                                                                                                                                                                      We don’t put tags after questions.


Statement                                                                  Tag

Statement      Tag

Question                                                                                                   Tag

                     -                                                                                   +

                     +                                                             -

                      ?                                                                                                      +     -

He’s not very old, is he?”

He’s very old, isn’t he?”

“Is he old?”                                                                         isn’t he



Ø  The verbs we use are the THREE PRIMARY AUXILIARY VERBS     ‘To BE;     ‘To HAVE’,    ‘To DO’.(in all of their Tenses).


Ø  Other verbs we use are the NINE MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS    ‘CAN’… ‘COULD’:   ‘MAY’…‘MIGHT’:    ‘SHALL’…‘SHOULD’:    ‘WILL’…‘WOULD’:    and …‘MUST’.


For example, if the sentence has the verb ‘to be’, (am, are, is; was, were, will be: etc.) this is used as the question tag: I am happy, aren’t I?” “You aren’t sad, are you?” “He is a teacher,
isn’t he?” “She wasn’t in France, was she?” “It was a radio, wasn’t it?” “We weren’t lost,
were we?” “They were taxi drivers, weren’t they?” “You will be happy, won’t you?”


All PRIMARY AUXILIARY and MODAL AUXILIARY VERBS are used in the same way.


1.      I have passed the exam, haven’t I?”


  1. She does look nice, doesn’t she?”


  1. Peter can’t speak German, can he?”


  1. Ann wouldn’t speak to Mary, would she?”


If the sentence has NO auxiliary verb, WE USE THE AUXILIARY VERB, “TO DO”.

                                                                        64448                                                                                                                                                                                                              6444448

  1. You like apples, don’t you?” is the same as (“You do like apples, don’t you?”)

                                                   64444448                                                                                                                          6444444448

  1. She ate a lot of food, didn’t she?” = (“She did eat a lot of food, didn’t she?”)

                                                                        644448                                                                                                           &nbs

14 Aug 2018     


well I know the theory but these examples seemed too easy for me, thanks though :-)

14 Aug 2018     

United Kingdom

Dear lumpicha78,


Thank you for your "Thank You!"
But, if you know the theory, you knew what the correct answers were.
So, I am baffled why you asked your original question.
Best wishes.
Les Douglas 

14 Aug 2018     

United Kingdom

Btw, we say�on TV �.
There is a good documentary about cats on TV tonight.
Oh look at Felix, he �s on the TV again! Cheeky little beggar. 

15 Aug 2018