They arrive at the hospital with time to spare. All that worrying was for nothing.
They pay the taxi driver and go into the hospital.
The lady at the reception asks: “Do you have your appointment card? did you phone before?”
Am I waiting for you here, or were they expecting me to come with you?
Have we been to this hospital before? Had it been built when we first moved here?
What’s your name? It’s John Smith, isn’t it? You have medical insurance, haven’t you?
She is your wife, isn’t she? I wonder if she would like to go with you.
Could you tell me where the scanner room is? It’s on the first floor, isn’t it? Yes, it is. On your left when you leave the lift.
It’s your first time here. I’m right, aren’t I? Yes, you are.
You are coming, aren’t you? Yes. Look out.
He bumps into a man. John apologizes but the man just grimaces.
He wasn’t looking, was he? You hadn’t seen him either, had you?
He sees a nurse and says I wonder if you could tell me where the toilets are?
They are over there. You didn’t drink any water this morning, did you?
No, I didn’t. They told me not to, didn’t they?
What is a question tag?
Question tags or Tag Questions are the short questions that we place at the end of sentences – common in spoken English. There are lots of different question tags “forms”. Let’s learn the rules!
When the first and main part of the sentence is affirmative / positive, the Question tag is negative
And if the first and main part of your sentence is negative, the question tag pr tag question is positive.
What verb to use to create my Question tag?
With auxiliary verbs
The question tag uses the same verb as the main part of the sentence. If this is an auxiliary verb (‘have’, ‘be’) then the question tag is made with the auxiliary verb.
They have visited Paris, haven’t they?
We weren’t aware of this, were we?
This is not bad, is it?
They had arrived, hadn’t they?
Without auxiliary verbs
If the first / main part of your sentence doesn’t have an auxiliary verb, the question tag uses a particular form of ‘do’ (did, do, does) (present, past… first, second of third person, singular or plural)
I moved to Spain then, didn’t I?
He doesn’t remember, does he?
They travel a lot, don’t they?
We left early, didn’t we?
With modal verbs (can, will, must..)
If you have a modal verb
in the first / main part of your sentence,
the question tag
uses the same modal verb
(can, will, must..).
They must leave early, mustn’t they?
She couldn’t understand me, could she?
They won’t go by car, will they?
He may leave, may he not?
With ‘I am’
Do be careful with question tags in sentences that start with ‘I am’. The question tag for ‘I am’ is ‘aren’t I?’
Question tags are very common in spoken English. Be careful when writing them: they must start with a comma “,” and end with a question mark “?”.
Question tags are very useful:
– to ask specific questions
– to ask for agreement when we already know the answer
In some cases question tags require our tone of voice to rise. This is called rising intonation and is used for questions.
When the question tag is only there to highlight a statement, the intonation can fall, unlike with a real question.
So pay attention to the context.
When question tags
ask a specific question
they require our tone of voice to rise.
This is called rising intonation.
You were there, weren’t you?
When question tags
ask for agreement,
the intonation can fall
unlike with a real question.
You agree, don’t you?
All that worrying was for nothing, wasn’t it?
Yes I suppose it wasn’t.
You phoned before, didn’t you?
Yes I did, I phoned this morning.
You didn’t wait for me, did you?
No I didn’t, I was in a hurry.
You are coming, aren’t you?
Yes I am.
Your Peter’s brother, aren’t you?
No, I’m not.
You hadn’t seen him, had you?
No I hadn’t.
You must do that, mustn’t you?
No I mustn’t.
You couldn’t tell the difference, could you?
No I couldn’t actually.
It is your first time, isn’t it?
No, it’s my second in point of fact.
You shouldn’t of done that, should you?
Why shouldn’t of done it?