جلسه 2

You knew there was another way to make questions in English, didn’t you? In this session we look at question tags and how you can use them to turn statements into questions. You want to learn how to make question tags and how to say them, don’t you?

جلسه های این واحد

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Another way to make questions

Making questions in English

You have wondered about questions in English, haven’t you? In  English, we usually form questions by swapping the subject and verb in a statement around, like this:

This is a serious job interview. (This is a statement.)
Is this a serious job interview? (This is a question.)

For a refresher on all the different types of questions, you can check out Unit 1 of our course. If you’re feeling ready to find out about making question tags, stay on this page!

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What do question tags mean and what do we use them for?

Basically, question tags work by turning a statement into a question by adding a tag at the end. The tag is a short yes or no question, and we use different tags depending on the statement. Here are a couple of examples:

You’re here for the interview today, aren’t you? (Compare with: Are you here for the interview?)
You haven’t filled all the vacancies yet, have you? (Compare with: Have you filled all the vacancies yet?)

The tag asks if the statement is true and makes it into a question. We use question tags more often when we are speaking than when we are writing.

How do we make question tags?

We can see that question tags are either positive or negative. If the statement part is positive, the tag is negative. If the statement is negative, then the question tag part is positive. The subject of the statement always appears as a pronoun in the tag.

You can fill out the application form without any problems, can’t you? (Positive statement, negative question tag.)
You haven’t finished interviewing all the candidates, have you? (Negative statement, positive question tag.)

If the main statement has an auxiliary verb, then the question tag is made with the same auxiliary verb.

Positive statements with question tags

We are meeting this afternoon, aren’t we?
You have prepared the spreadsheet, haven’t you?
You will be on time for the workshop, won’t you?
You can join us for the business lunch, can’t you?
This is going to change our products forever, isn’t it?

For positive statements without auxiliary verbs, we use do to make the question tag:

The new bosses like the idea, don’t they?
He always gives a good presentation, doesn’t he?
All the interviewees arrived on time, didn’t they?

Negative statements with question tags

The job situation isn’t getting any better, is it?
We haven’t had so many candidates interested before, have we?
Our new boss doesn’t like to have fun, does she?
I just can’t get this presentation right, can I?

When a form of be is the main verb in the statement, we use the matching form in the tag.

She is qualified, isn’t she?
They were impressed by the sales figures, weren’t they?
It isn’t that difficult to understand, is it?
We weren’t ready for the tax increase, were we?

There is a special case if the pronoun is I and we use be in the statement. The tag is made with am when the statement is negative - but when the statement is positive, the tag is made with aren't.

I'm not the right person for the job, am I?
I'm in the right building for the interview, aren't I?

To do

You can understand how to make question tags now, can’t you? Have a go at this gap fill quiz!

Question tag gaps

6 Questions

Have a go at this question tag quiz and fill in the gaps in these questions. You will get them all correct, won't you? Choose the best word or phrase for each gap

تبریک می گوییم
Excellent! آفرین! نمره شما Bad luck! :
x / y

Well done! By now you’re much better at making question tags, aren’t you? Remember that you can find out more on our Session Grammar page.

Next

Now we’ve looked at form of question tags, it’s time to tackle their pronunciation. You know how to say the tags, don’t you? If you’re not sure, you can check out the next activity, can’t you?

دستور زبان این جلسه

  • Question tags work by turning a statement into a question by adding a tag at the end. The tag is a short yes or no question.

    You’re here for the interview today, aren’t you? (Compare with: Are you here for the interview?)

    If the statement is positive, the tag is negative. If the statement is negative, then the tag is positive.

    We are meeting this afternoon, aren’t we?
    The job situation isn’t getting any better, is it?

    The statement and the question tag must match: they have the same pronoun and the verbs must be in the same present, past or future form.

    Barbara hasn’t eaten lunch today, has she?
    Mr. Reese doesn’t own a computer, does he?
    You are living in Prague, aren’t you?
    All the candidates arrived on time, didn’t they?