Question tags (or tag questions) turn a statement into a question. We usually use them for checking information that we think we know is true or for asking for confirmation that we have heard something correctly (e.g. You did just say the Earth is flat, didn’t you?)
- If the main clause is positive, the question tag is negative
- if the main clause is negative, the question tag is positive.
You are happy (positive), aren’t you (negative)?
You aren’t happy (negative), are you (positive)?
- If the main clause has an auxiliary verb, you use the same verb in the question tag. When there is no auxiliary verb (in the present simple and past simple) use do / does / did (just like when you make a normal question).
She is going to see them, isn’t she?
Verb tenses and question tags
Simple present ‘to be’
- Mike is an accountant, isn’t he?
Simple present other verbs
- You speak Russian, don’t you?
- Lavinia is studying in Cambridge, isn’t she?
Simple past ‘to be’
- Last summer was really hot, wasn’t it?
Simple past other verbs
- Dianna talked to Fiona yesterday, didn’t she?
- They were living in Amsterdam, weren’t they?
- You’ve visited Spain, haven’t you?
Present perfect continuous
- You’ve been learning about Ancient Rome recently, haven’t you?
- William had left his keys at home, hadn’t he?
Past perfect continuous
- Mary and Clive had been shopping, hadn’t they?
Simple future (with ‘will’)
- Your parents will come next week, won’t they?
- They’ll be finishing school soon, won’t they?
- Pete will have finished before tonight, won’t he?
Future perfect continuous
- Agnes will have been teaching all day, won’t she?
- Sonia can swim, can’t she?
- He must apologise, mustn’t he?