Learn about using question tags here. Then, when you are ready, try these question tag practice exercises.

Using question tags

It's a nice day, isn't it?

We often use question tags in conversation meaning "do you agree with me?", when we expect the listener to agree.

It's a nice day, isn't it?

We also use question tags when we think we know something, but want to check because we might be wrong.

It won't rain later, will it?

 

How to make question tags

A question tag is made of an auxiliary verb +  subject pronoun. For simple tenses, the auxiliary is do (does, do, did). For continuous tenses the auxiliary is be (am, is, are, was, were). For perfect tenses, the auxiliary is have (has, have, had). Modal verbs are also auxiliaries (can, could, will, would, might, may, must, shall, should).

If you have problems with tenses, click on the tense link below to see more information about it.

With positve statements, use a negative tag.

She likes coffee, doesn't she? (simple)

It's raining, isn't it? (continuous)

They've finished, haven't they? (perfect)

He can swim, can't he? (modal verb

With negative statements, use a positive tag.

She doesn't like coffee, does she?  (simple)

It isn't raining, is it? (continuous)

They haven't finished, have they? (perfect)

He can't swim, can he? (modal verb) 

Note: We only use pronouns to make the question tags. For example:

Tom is late again, isn't Tom he?

 

It's important you get the pronunciation right with question tags. If your intonation goes up at the end, it means it's really a question - you want a yes/no answer. If your intonation goes down at the end it's a statement - you are sure it's true.

You can remember, can't you? ↗

You can remember, can't you? ↘


Now try these question tag practice exercises.