How to use Tag Questions

Learn about Tag Questions in English grammar. Clear and simple explanation of meaning and use, with examples.

Keith Taylor

Forming tag questions

auxiliary verb + subject

  1. We use the same auxiliary verb in the tag as in the main sentence. If there is no auxiliary verb in the main sentence, we use do in the tag.
    • You live in Spain, don’t you?
  2. If the auxiliary verb in the sentence is affirmative, the tag is negative.
    • You’re learning Spanish, aren’t you?
  3. If the auxiliary verb in the sentence is negative, the tag is affirmative.
    • You don’t speak Spanish, do you?
  4. If the main verb in the sentence is be (am, is, are, was, were), we use this in the tag:
    • There is a lot of noise, isn’t there?
    • You’re a little late, aren’t you?

Meaning

  1. We use tag questions to confirm or check information or ask for agreement.
    • You want to come with me, don’t you?
    • You can swim, can’t you?
    • You don’t know where the boss is, do you?
    • This meal is horrible, isn’t it?
    • That film was fantastic, wasn’t it?
  2. We use tag questions to check whether something is true.
    • The meeting’s tomorrow at 9am, isn’t it?
    • You won’t go without me, will you?

Additional points

  1. In the present form of be: In an affirmative statement, if the subject is “I”, the auxiliary changes to aren’t in the tag.
    • I’m sitting next to you, aren’t I?
    • I’m a little early, aren’t I?
  2. With let’s, the tag is shall we?
    • Let’s go to the beach, shall we?
    • Let’s have a coffee, shall we?
  3. With an imperative, the tag is will you?
    • Close the window, will you?
    • Hold this, will you?
  4. We use an affirmative tag after a sentence containing a negative word such as never, hardly, nobody.
    • Nobody lives in this house, do they?
    • You’ve never liked me, have you?
  5. When the subject is nothing, we use “it” in the tag.
    • Nothing bad happened, did it?
    • Nothing ever happens, does it?
  6. If the subject is nobody, somebody, everybody, no one, someone or everyone, we use “they” in the tag.
    • Nobody asked for me, did they?
    • Nobody lives here, do they?
  7. If the main verb in the sentence is have (not an auxiliary verb), it is more common to use do in the tag.
    • You have a Ferrari, don’t you?
    • She had a great time, didn’t she?
  8. With used to, we use “didn’t” in the tag.
    • You used to work here, didn’t you?
    • He used to have long hair, didn’t he?
  9. We can use affirmative tags after affirmative sentences to express a reaction such as surprise or interest.
    • You’re moving to Brazil, are you?

Pronunciation

  1. If we don’t know the answer, it is a real question and we use a rising intonation with the tag.
    • You don’t know where the boss is, do you? ↗
  2. If we know the answer and are just confirming the information a falling intonation is used with the tag.
    • That film was fantastic, wasn’t it? ↘

Related grammar points

Questions

Keith Taylor

Keith is the co-founder of Eslbase and School of TEFL. He's been a teacher and teacher trainer for over 20 years, in Indonesia, Australia, Morocco, Spain, Italy, Poland, France and now in the UK.

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563 comments

  • Madan

    So you haven’t done your homework, …?
    What is correct tag question here?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      So you haven’t done your homework, have you?

  • Ibrahim Ibrahim

    My question is: Add question tag
    (1) He cannot do this to you

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      He cannot do this to you, can he?

  • Farin

    ‘No’ is a word, …? Tag question please

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      ‘No’ is a word, isn’t it?

  • Dikshya

    I have a very good reason for doing so, …?
    What will be the tag question here?

    • Sk asmit

      Havent I?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      I have a very good reason for doing so, don’t I?

  • Taylor Alison

    Hi, I don’t know if you’re still answering the questions. But if you are, could you help with this?
    When I don’t know the gender of the person I’m talking about, I replace with they?
    Example: That student has done all the homework, haven’t they?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Yes, you can use “they” if you don’t know the gender of the person.

  • Joseph

    Change “there are ten bungalows on this street” to negative tag question

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      There are ten bungalows on this street, aren’t there?

  • Md Abdul Based Miah

    Always remember breaking a friendship is easier than building it – what will be the tag question, please?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Always remember, breaking a friendship is easier than building it, isn’t it?

  • Sada kimbengele

    May you assist me tag question of this sentence?
    One of the teachers attended the meeting

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      One of the teachers attended the meeting, didn’t they?

  • Suliman Khan

    Hi
    Tag question for
    She has her hair styled

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      She has her hair styled, doesn’t she?

  • Francis kapalasa

    Am totally confused with your explanation regarding how to form a question tag from a clause. Surely, most of you said, ‘when the clause has main verb, this means, the clause has no other verbs assisting the other one, we use a tag, do/does/did’. My question, why on ‘there is silence, takes ‘isn’t there?’ instead of ‘doesn’t there? What is special with ‘there’ as used in the clause? I have seen other questions of similar nature taking ‘do/does/did’ but not with that one above. Help fast

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Hi Francis

      If the main verb in the clause is “be”, then we use this in the tag. This is the case with “there is”:
      There is silence, isn’t there?

      I’ve updated the post, adding this point.

  • Abhi

    Where do we have to use the ‘do’ forms?
    She needed a pen
    She has a pen

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      She needed a pen, didn’t she?
      She has a pen, doesn’t she?

  • Kulsum

    1. Who loves a parental baby, …?
    2. The mother roused her, …?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      1. Who loves a parental baby, …?
      This is a direct question so we can’t use a question tag here. To use a question tag, it needs to be a statement.

      2. The mother roused her, didn’t she?

  • Bibek pandey

    Please tell:
    I am always interested in learning new things, …?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      I am always interested in learning new things, aren’t I?

  • Elnare

    Hi. There are few illnesses in modern medicine, … aren’t there or are there? And why? Thank you in advance.

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      “aren’t there” is correct.

  • raf

    a) Please help me, won’t you?
    b) Please do not disturb me, will you?
    c) Please give me a cup of coffee, will you?

    Are the above tag questions correct?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Yes, they are correct :-)

  • Sanju

    What is the question tag of these 3 statement?
    1. Everyone has come late today.
    2. The audience have taken their seats.
    3. Wait for me.

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      1. Everyone has come late today, haven’t they?
      2. The audience have taken their seats, haven’t they?
      3. Wait for me, won’t you?

  • Rabiul Jewel

    What is the tag question of ‘Everything depends on the sincerity of the government, …?’

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Everything depends on the sincerity of the government, doesn’t it?

  • Rc

    ‘As you know a doctor’s duty toward his patient is above everything.’
    Could you please tell me what the tag question for the sentence is?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      As you know a doctor’s duty toward his patient is above everything, isn’t it?

  • Mashuda

    God is kind to all, …?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      God is kind to all, isn’t he?

  • Akhtar Jan

    Sir what will be the tag of all these sentences, please tell me about it so I will be very thankful to you.
    I have been called by them.
    I had been invited by them.
    He has been punished.
    He was killed by them.
    They were punished.
    He will be liked by them.
    He will have been punished by them.
    He is liked by us.
    They are arrested by them.
    I am loved by them.
    He is being given money by them.
    They are being invited.
    He was being invited.
    They were being beaten.

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      I have been called by them, haven’t I?
      I had been invited by them, hadn’t I?
      He has been punished, hadn’t he?
      He was killed by them. wasn’t he?
      They were punished, weren’t they?
      He will be liked by them, won’t he?
      He will have been punished by them, won’t he?
      He is liked by us, isn’t he?
      They are arrested by them, aren’t they?
      I am loved by them, aren’t I?
      He is being given money by them, isn’t he?
      They are being invited, aren’t they?
      He was being invited, wasn’t he?
      They were being beaten, weren’t they?

  • Rengselin

    John hardly ever studies, …?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      John hardly ever studies, does he?

  • Keith profile photo
    A
    Keith Taylor

    Everyone objected to her coming along with us, didn’t they?
    (Please note the change in the construction of the sentence).

  • Keith profile photo
    A
    Keith Taylor

    The little girl is playing piano, isn’t she?

  • Roy

    “None was said” make it tag

  • Pratap

    Please sir convert this statement into a question tag: ‘He never hid.’

  • Gina

    The rooms aren’t ready for the visit, …?

  • Mmmmmm

    The buses aren’t brand new, …?

  • Reshma

    How odd, …?

  • pintu

    All of us can do it

  • Anik das

    What a shame!…?

  • Joel uwamahoro

    Hi, my questions are the following.

    1. Where is the difference between everybody and every person in the tag question?
    E.g. Everybody can clean the chalkboard, …?
    Every person can clean the chalkboard, …?

    2. How do you say that EVERYTHING takes IT as a subject in tag question? Don’t you understand that there is a plural hidden there?

    Help me please!

  • MAH

    What is the tag Q here?
    A: I couldn’t stand my boss.
    B. couldn’t you? or could you?

  • Albert

    What is the correct question tag? There is a man in the room…..

  • (*sara*)

    Hi
    What is the question tag for these sentences:
    1 Adam’s broken’s stolen, …?
    2 Adam’s broken car’s stolen, …?
    3 I think she is a good student, …?
    4 There’s been no news, …?

  • MD.Ashif Kabir

    Can’t we use have/has/had as auxiliary verb? If they form sentences as principal verb.

  • ASHADULLAH RAFI

    1. Here is your shirt, …?
    2. He said to me “Never waste your time, …”?

  • Jitendra Kumar Singh

    Tell the Tag Question of them:
    1. You wanted that.
    2. He has to work late tonight.

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      1. You wanted that, didn’t you?
      2. He has to work late tonight, doesn’t he?

  • Pratilal Chaudhary

    What is the question tag for Don’t worry?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Don’t worry, will you?

  • Karar Iva

    Help me please.

    One can do almost nothing without it.
    What will be its tag question?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      One possibility is:
      “One can do almost nothing without it, can they?” (“can one?” is possible but sounds quite formal.)

  • marab

    Please help me with this
    Only 2 days are left, …?
    Is the correct answer aren’t they or aren’t there?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Hi Marab

      Only 2 days are left, aren’t they?
      There are only two days left, aren’t there?

  • Reya

    Mrs Patil donated generously
    What will be its question tag ?
    And why that answer please explain

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Mrs Patil donated generously, didn’t she?

  • Belal Hossain

    May you be happy. What should be the right tag for the statement, please.

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Hi, we can’t add a tag to this statement unfortunately.

      • omar

        No brother we can add a tag
        May you be happy, mayn’t you?

        • Keith profile photo
          A
          Keith Taylor

          Unfortunately, we can’t say “mayn’t you?” – it doesn’t work.

  • Shamim

    Anyone is allowed, are they? Is that correct?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Hi Shamim

      This could be correct, if you are following point 9 under “additional points” in the article.

      Normally though, the tag would be “aren’t they?”

      Hope that helps.

  • Oyewole Abigail Ifeoluwa

    Please what’s the question tag for:
    They watch movies at home

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      They watch movies at home, don’t they?

  • Shamsuzzaman Khan

    Long live our motherland, …?

    (Please tell me the tag question of above written sentence.)

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Hi, this is an idiomatic expression, and there is no subject, so it isn’t possible to add a tag to this sentence.

      Hope this helps.

  • Prakash Pant

    I have a pen that writes clean,…? (question tag)
    (don’t I, doesn’t it)

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      “I have a pen that writes cleanly, don’t I?” is correct.
      You could also say “My pen writes cleanly, doesn’t it?”

  • Md. Aktaruzzaman

    Anyone can do it, can they/ can’t they?

    Which one is correct?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      Normally, “Can’t they” is correct.
      But “can they?” is also correct – please see point 9 in the article above.

      • Sandesh magar

        What is the tag question?
        A group of people left him a tip,…………..?

  • Tony

    Joy eats everything except poison. What is the question tag for that?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      …doesn’t she?

  • Moyo kuye

    Please how can I teach Question tags using ‘will’ and ‘shall’?

  • Arif

    1. Fire on criminals, …?
    2. None is happy here, …?
    3. He and not Hena had written a letter, …?
    4. It is you who did it, …?
    5. Since he was ill he could not come here, …?

    Can someone help me to solve these?

    • Keith profile photo
      A
      Keith Taylor

      1. Fire on criminals, …? This is an imperative sentence. The tag could be “will you?” or “won’t you?”
      2. Noone is happy here, are they?
      3. He and not Hena had written a letter, hadn’t he?
      4. It is you who did it, isn’t it?
      5. Since he was ill he could not come here, could he?

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