Question tags are used when asking for agreement or confirmation, it is used to convert a Declarative sentence into an Interrogative sentence by adding a Question tag at the end of the Declarative sentence.
Declarative sentence + Question tag = Interrogative sentence
Rules for forming Question tag:
The pronoun of the subject is used in the question tag.
|Declarative sentence||Pronoun||Question tag|
|We speak softly||we||don’t we?|
|Rani speak softly||she||doesn’t she?|
|Raju speak softly||he||doesn’t he?|
2. Positive or Negative
Find Declarative sentence is a positive or negative sentence.
If Declarative sentence is positive then question tag is negative in nature.
Similarly, if Declarative sentence is negative then question tag is positive in nature.
|Declarative sentence||Question Tag|
|Positive||must be negative|
|She goes to school by van||doesn’t she?|
3. Verb used
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 weren’t here, were they?
‘Negative’ Declarative sentence, were( be verb) + positive + pronoun?
Be verbs are is, was, are, were.
without auxiliary verbs
If the main part of the sentence doesn’t have an auxiliary verb, the question tag uses an appropriate form of ‘do’.
She goes to school by van, doesn’t she?
‘Positive’ Declarative sentence, does + negative + pronoun?
go = do + go,
goes = does + go,
went = did + go.
with modal verbs
If there is a modal verb in the main part of the sentence the question tag uses the same modal verb.
They couldn’t hear me, could they?
‘Negative’ Declarative sentence, modal verb + positive + pronoun?
Modal verbs are can, could, shall, should, may, might.
with ‘i am’
I am a student, aren’t I? or I am a student, ain’t I?
Ain’t is a contraction for am not, is not, are not, has not, and have not in the common English language vernacular