Question tag is a device that we add to the end of statement to turn it into a question. It always appear at the end of the sentence and refer to the verb used in the clause before, as well as the subject (which is a noun or a personal pronoun in most cases) of the corresponding statement.  Some examples for question tag in English Language are: positive tag and negative tag. Examples:

          POSITIVE TAG                        NEGATIVE TAG

            …do they?                               …don’t they?

            …has she?                              …hasn’t she?

            …are you?                               …aren’t you?

            …will it?                                  …won’t it?        

            …can we?                               …can’t we?

            …is he?                                   …isn’t he?

            …could you?                           …couldn’t you?

            …did he?                                 …didn’t he?

            In general, question tag are called tag question or question tails are used to elicit confirmation (i.e. to elicit or to make quite certain) or affirmation (i.e. to state something positively and firmly) for a statement for the person one is talking to.

           This grammatical feature (question tag) can sometimes provoke problems (especially for learners of English as a foreign language) as the question tag always has to be adapted to the previous part of the statement. This means it has to be grammatically in accordance with it.

            You should not feel that since positive statement takes negative tags or negative statement take positive tags, you can use any negative tag or positive tag you like for the positive or negative statement.

             Let’s take a look at these statements and their tag.

  STATEMENTS                                       WRONG                         RIGHT

  1. You will come tomorrow,             willn’t you?                  won’t you?
  2. You stole a book,                          stolen’t you?                 didn’t you?
  3. He took Mr Obis car,                    tooket he?                    didn’t he?
  4. You feel like dancing,                   fitn’t you?                     don’t you?
  5. She plays the piano,                      playn’t she?                  doesn’t she?
  6. Ada loves you,                              loven’t she?                  doesn’t she?

             When you look at these statements and their question tag, you will notice that question tags in the first row are wrong while the ones in the second row are right. So when you want to use question tag for a statement, ensure that you do it grammatically. Also use comma (,) at the end of a statement for separation before putting question tag.


  Take note of the following rules, when forming question tag.

  1. If the statement is positive, a negative tag is needed.

For example :

  1. I saw you,  didn’t I?
  2. They will go, won’t they?
  3. If the statement is negative, a positive tag is needed.

For example :  

  1. They couldn’t defeat us, could they?
  2. There wasn’t any delay, was there?
  3. In a question tag, the personal pronoun (he, she, we, etc) is used in almost every case instead of a noun. It has to refer to the subject of a sentence which is often a noun or the same personal pronoun.

For example :

  1. Ngozi has just left,  hasn’t she?
  2. Mina didn’t believe us,  did she?
  3. If an auxiliary verb (be, have, do etc) or a modal verb (must, can, would) appears in the statement, it has to be used in the tag question too. The main verb is not mentioned anymore.  For example :
  4. The house we bought was built in 2015, wasn’t it?

__the personal pronoun “it” refers to the subject “the house” of the corresponding sentence.

  1. We have got a beautiful garden, haven’t we?

__here,  the personal pronoun “we” is used in the tag question as well as in the subject.

  1. If there is only a main verb present in the statement and no auxiliary verb, the question tag is formed with appropriate “do” verb (eg) do, does, did. And the tense has to be the same.

For example :

  1. Amaka likes to do a lot of sports,  doesn’t she?
  2. We spent too much money yesterday, didn’t we?
  3. If the statement is a request, “will or would ” are usually employed (used).

 For example :

  1. Pass me the sugar, would you?
  2. Don’t be late, will you?
  3. If the request include let’s, shall is the suitable question tag.

For example :

  1. Let’s go shopping, shall we?
  2. Whenever, “there is, there are, there where”, for showing that something exists is used, “there”needs to be applied in the question tag too.

For example :

  1. There weren’t a lot of things left at the cell,  were there?
  2. If the statement is in the present tense, the tag is also in the present.

For example :

  1. He reads a lot of books,  doesn’t he?
  2. She is in the classroom, isn’t she?
  3. If the statement is in the past tense, the tag is also in the past tense.

For example:

  1.     Emeka was not in school yesterday, was he?
  2. They knew that before, didn’t they?

            Note that a tag varies according to the content of the statement.



Examples :

Dola : Ngozi is beautiful, isn’t she?

Blessing : Yes she is.

Ibiware : Ahmed is a Christian, isn’t he?

Osagie : No, he isn’t.

Emmanuel : You knew that before, didn’t you?

Amadi : Yes I did.

Prosper : I love my wife,  don’t I?

Ebube : Yes you do.

Christian : Emma,  the bride was happy, wasn’t she?

Emma : Yes she was.



  1. Adanna is beautiful,↘isn’t She?↗
  2. John was in school yesterday,↘wasn’t he?↗
  3. Students must work hard,↘mustn’t they?↗
  4. She isn’t very happy about her new job,↘is she?↗
  5. Let’s go shopping,↘shall we?↗



Add the necessary question tag to the following statements. 

  1. I haven’t seen you, _______?
  2. They were living here, _______?
  3. She doesn’t understand you, _______?
  4. They couldn’t see well, _______?
  5. We had not eaten for four days, _______?
  6. The teacher is very clever, _______?
  7. You remember the day, _______?
  8. The doctor has left, _______?
  9. He is the best Governor, _______?
  10. All politicians are not liars, _______?


Submit assignment at the school’s security post

Download Document Here: JSS 2 English Language WK 8


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