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Question tags

Do you know how to use question tags like is he and didn't you?

Look at these examples to see how question tags are used.

You haven't seen this film, have you?
Your sister lives in Spain, doesn't she?
He can't drive, can he?

Try this exercise to test your grammar.

Grammar test 1

Question tags: Grammar test 1

Read the explanation to learn more.

Grammar explanation

We can add question tags like isn't it?, can you? or didn't they? to a statement to make it into a question. Question tags are more common in speaking than writing.

We often use question tags when we expect the listener to agree with our statement. In this case, when the statement is positive, we use a negative question tag.

She's a doctor, isn't she?
Yesterday was so much fun, wasn't it?

If the statement is negative, we use a positive question tag. 

He isn't here, is he?
The trains are never on time, are they?
Nobody has called for me, have they?

If we are sure or almost sure that the listener will confirm that our statement is correct, we say the question tag with a falling intonation. If we are a bit less sure, we say the question tag with a rising intonation.


If there is an auxiliary verb in the statement, we use it to form the question tag.

I don't need to finish this today, do I?
James is working on that, isn't he?
Your parents have retired, haven't they?
The phone didn't ring, did it?
It was raining that day, wasn't it?
Your mum hadn't met him before, had she?

Sometimes there is no auxiliary verb already in the statement. For example, when:

... the verb in the statement is present simple or past simple and is positive. Here we use don't, doesn't or didn't:

Jenni eats cheese, doesn't she?
I said that already, didn't I? 

... the verb in the statement is to be in the present simple or past simple. In this case we use to be to make the question tag:

The bus stop's over there, isn't it?
None of those customers were happy, were they?

... the verb in the statement is a modal verb. Here we use the modal verb to make the question tag:

They could hear me, couldn't they?
You won't tell anyone, will you?

If the main verb or auxiliary verb in the statement is am, the positive question tag is am I? but the negative question tag is usually aren't I?:

I'm never on time, am I?
I'm going to get an email with the details, aren't I?

Do this exercise to test your grammar again.

Grammar test 2

Question tags: Grammar test 2

Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2


I am not selected for this competition, am I ?

I am not selected for this competition, are I ?

Hello koshi

The first one. Please don't post your comments more than once.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your help. I'm sorry for asking twice.

We have a lot of work,haven't we?
We have a lot of work,don't we?
She seldom comes here,does she?
She seldom comes here,doesn't she?
Thank u

It's really remarkable.

What will be the question tag for:- `I am working hard on this book'

Hello Rajat Verma,

When the main verb in the sentence is am, we use are in the tag. Thus, the correct question tag here is aren't I.



The LearnEnglish Team

I have a question, haven't I?
I have a question, don't I?
Which one is correct?

Hello sakinkadery,

When have is used as a main verb, as in your example, the correct auxiliary for negation, question formation and for use in tags is do. The second example is correct.



The LearnEnglish Team

What is the difference between this two ?
You are a pilot, aren't you ?
aren't you a pilot ?
I can't find any differences.