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.
If the sentence is affirmative, the tag will be negative. And if the sentence is negative, the tag will be positive.
Question tags are formed with the auxiliary or modal verb from the statement and the appropriate subject.
Affirmative Sentence/ Negative Tag
- You are Tom, aren’t you?
- Mike can play the piano, can't he?
- It's a lovely day, isn't it?
- You will go there, won't you?
Negative Sentence/ Affirmative Tag
- He isn’t Joe, is he?
- She can't cook, can she?
- You didn't do your homework, did you?
- You won't see her, will you?
1. Although the negative word not is not in the sentence, the sentence can be negative. Then we use the positive question tag.
- He hardly ever speaks, does he?
- They rarely eat in restaurants, do they?
2. If the verb is in the past simple we use did.
- They went to the cinema, didn't they?
3. We use shall after Let's.
- Let's take the next bus, shall we?
4. We use won't with a polite request.
- Open the window, won't you?