3/01/2020

Tagged Under:

Question Tags in English Grammar

Share




വീഡിയോ ക്ലാസ്സ് കാണുക


Part-1 (Basics)




Part-2 (Imperative Sentence)




Part-3 (Complex Sentence)



Full Note:

Question Tag
-     By Jafar Sadik


Question tags are short questions at the end of statements. They are mainly used in speech when we want to confirm that something is true or not, or to encourage a reply from the person we are speaking to.

Example: He is a teacher, isn’t he?

1. Basic Rules.
-         Identify the auxiliary Verb
-         Change Positive Statement into Negative and Negative Statement into Positive by adding or omitting ‘not’.
-         Place the Personal Pronoun after the Auxiliary Verb.

2. Positive Question Tags
If the statement is negative, the tag must be positive.
ü You haven't done your homework, have you?
ü He isn’t from Kashmir, is he?
ü It isn’t raining, is it?
ü You aren’t coming to my party, are you?
ü She isn’t really good at chess, is she?
ü They can’t swim, can they?
ü Devika isn’t singing, is she?

Change in Subject
Subject
Pronoun
He
He
She
She
They
They
The boy
He
The girl
She
Raju (Name of a Male)
He
Leela (Name of a Female)
She
Dog
It
Everyone
They
Everybody
They
None of us
We
Some of us
We
None of you
You
Some of you
You
None of the students
They
Let us
we


3. Negative Question Tags
If the statement is positive the tag must be negative.
ü You have done your homework, haven’t you?
ü He is from Kashmir, isn’t he?
ü It is raining, isn’t it?
ü You are coming to my party, aren’t you?
ü She is really good at chess, isn’t she?
ü They can swim, can’t they?
ü Devika is singing, isn’t she?

Exception: When “not” is added with “am” it becomes "aren’t”.
ü I am the best, aren’t I?
ü I am clever, aren’t I?

Change in Auxiliary Verbs
Positive
Negative
Is
isn’t
Am
aren’t
Are
aren’t
Was
wasn't
Were
weren't
Has
hasn’t
Have
haven’t
Had
hadn’t
Do
don’t
Does
doesn’t
Did
didn’t
Can
can’t
Could
couldn’t
Will
won’t
Would
wouldn’t
May
mayn’t
Might
mightn’t
Shall
shan’t
Should
shouldn’t
Must
mustn’t
Need
needn’t
Dare
daren’t
Used
didn’t
Ought
oughtn’t



4. Question Tags without Auxiliary Verbs
If the main verb does not use an auxiliary (i.e. it is in the simple present or simple past tense), the tag will be formed using a form of the auxiliary do, just like the interrogative and negative forms of these tenses.
ü You like me, don’t you?
ü He speaks Hindi, doesn’t he?
ü You went to British Council in Delhi, didn't you?
ü This one looks rather interesting, doesn't it?


5. Question Tags with Model Verbs
ü She can help him, can’t she?
ü He will tell me, won’t he?
ü They should learn for the test, shouldn’t they?
ü It can’t be true, can it?

6. Negative Statements without ‘not’.
Although the negative word ‘not’ is not in the sentence, the sentence can be negative. The adverbs, given below, have a negative sense.
           
Little
Few
Hardly
Scarcely
rarely,
Seldom

We treat statements with these words like negative statements, so the question tag is normally positive.
ü He hardly does any work, does he?
ü He is seldom absent, is he?
ü They had little money to spend, had they?
ü Dad ate hardly anything, did he?
ü She had few moments on her own, had she?
ü I can scarcely wait, can I?
ü They are hardly aware of the increase in birth rate, are they?
ü There has never been an exploitation in this company, has there?
ü People are rarely worried about the bombings nowadays, are they?
ü He scarcely finished university, did he?
ü You seldom go to the beach, do you?

7. Tags of Main Verb, Accompanied by several auxiliaries.
If the main verb is accompanied by several auxiliaries, including modal auxiliaries, the tag reflects back to the first of the auxiliaries used.

ü You should have been paying more attention, shouldn't you?
ü They could have lost all their money in Mumbai, couldn't they?
ü He ought to have been able to answer all the questions, oughtn't he?
ü They can't have had to stop already, can they?
ü He might have had to buy a new car, mightn't he?


8. Question Tag for ‘Let us’ and ‘Let’.
ü Let’s go, shall we?
ü Let’s play, shall we?
ü Let’s dance, shall we?
ü Let’s go home, shall we?
ü Let’s get together for a party, shall we?
ü Let’s go to the beach, shall we?
ü Let’s have a coffee, shall we?

ü Let him speak, will you?
ü Let them go, will you?

9. Question Tags of Imperative Sentences
In an imperative sentence we use 'you' as the only pronoun in the tag and 'will' is used as the helping verb in the question tag.
Positive Imperative Sentences: In a positive imperative sentence question tag can be positive or negative. will you or won't you can be used alike.

ü Kindly sign these files, won't you / will you?
ü Close the window, won't you / will you?
ü Open the door, won't you / will you?
ü Have chocolate, won't you / will you?
ü Have a coffee, won't you / will you?
ü Be careful when you ride on a bike, won't you / will you?
ü Pass me the sugar, won't you / will you?

Negative Imperative: In negative imperative sentences, the question tag is always positive.
ü Don’t sign these files, will you?
ü Don’t close the window, will you?
ü Don’t have chocolate, will you?
ü Don't smoke in this room, will you?
ü Don't look at me like that, will you?

Impatience or Irritation: if there is a sense of impatience or irritation, ‘can’t you’ is used as a tag.
ü Shut your mouth, Can’t you?
ü Keep quiet, Can’t you?
ü Listen to me, Can’t you?

10. Question Tags for “needn’t”, “need”, “needs” and “needs”
The question tag for ‘needn’t’ is ‘need’ whereas the tags for “need”, “needs” and “needs” are ‘does’,  ‘do’ and ‘did’ respectively.

Needn’t
ü I needn't do that, need I?
ü I need not stay long, need I?

Need
ü You need money, don't you?
ü They need some new clothes, don't they?

Needs
ü The car needs repairing, doesn't it?
ü He needs to eat soon, doesn't he?

Needed
ü He needed glasses, didn’t he?
ü She needed to get her car, didn’t he?


11. Question Tag of Complex Sentence
A sentence having one main clause and one or more subordinate clause is known as a complex sentence. Generally, the tag of the main clause is used as the question tag for a complex sentence.
ü Rakesh said that he would meet the expense, didn't he?
ü Tell him that he will get all concessions, will you?
ü When he reached the railway station, the train had left, hadn't it?
ü Let's hope that we will be proficient in grammar soon, shall we?
ü Hope, he will win, won't he?
ü You think you are right, don’t you?
ü I think I am right, aren’t I?

Explanations:
·         Rakesh said that he would meet the expense, didn't he? – here the main clause is “Rakesh Said”.
·        Tell him that he will get all concessions, will you? - The main clause of this complex sentence is, "tell him" and it is in the form of a positive meaning imperative sentence.
·        When he reached the railway station, the train had left, hadn't it? - Here 'the train had left' is the main clause. so, we write the tag of this clause.
·        Let's hope that we will be proficient in grammar soon, shall we? - Here the main clause begins with 'let's'. so, the question tag of the sentence is “shall we”.
·        Hope he will win, won't he? - Though the sentence looks like an imperative sentence, it is really the spoken form or weak form of the complex sentence in written form, as "I hope that he will win".

·        Normally in spoken form, the first-person subject 'I' is not mentioned when the following verb of the sentence is hope, think, wish, suspect, expect, be sure, be afraid or suppose, etc. So, here the subject of the main clause is the first person 'I'. The question tag of the main clause is normally written for a complex sentence. but, if the subject of the main clause is first-person 'I', its question tag is not used. instead, the question tag of the subordinate clause is used. so here the subordinate clause 'he will win' is considered and the tag is 'won't he?'.

·        You think you are right, don’t you? – Here, as the sentence is a complex sentence (You think that you are right) main clause ‘you think’ is considered as the main verb.

·        I think I am right, aren’t I? – Apart from the previous question, here, although the main verb is ‘I think’, the subject is first-person ‘I’. So, the subordinate considered.


2 comments:

murivukal said...

thank you sir question tag simple akki thannathinnu

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this great help

Labels