Questions in English (Tag Questions) EP.4

In this lesson, we will focus on tag questions in the English language.
A question is an interrogative expression often used to find out or confirmation information. There are a lot of different types of questions in English such as object, subject, duration, tag, negative, indirect, open, closed, etc…
A tag question is a grammatical structure in which a positive or negative statement is turned into a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question by adding a tag (auxiliary verb and pronoun) to the end of the statement.
Tag questions are usually used in spoken English to ask for agreement or check/confirm some information that we believe is true. One of the most common functions of a tag question is to start a conversation or help keep it going.
In a tag question, if the statement is positive, the tag will be negative.

             (Statement) (+)                                        (Negative Tag) (-)

Tag Question           John is the manager of the Finance Department,
isn’t   he?   
    You have been to Singapore several times this year,
haven’t you?
    She uses the printing shop across the street, doesn’t she?

In a tag question, if the statement is negative, the tag will be positive.

             (Statement) (-)                                        (PositiveTag) (+)

Tag Question        John is not the manager of the Finance Department,
is he?
    You have not been to Singapore before, have you?
    She doesn’t use the printing shop across the street,
does she?

When tag questions are used in conversations, the speaker will sometimes ask the tag question by just stating the object of the statement with the tag question at the end. In this type of structure, the tag is usually negative with the verb ‘be’ as the auxiliary verb.

             (Object)                                   (Negative Tag) (-)

Tag Question Great seminar today, isn’t it?
Delicious food, wasn’t it?
Excellent presenters, weren’t they?
December 30, 2020

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