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QUESTION TAG

What is a question tag ?




A tag question is a statement followed by a small-question. We use tag questions to ask for confirmation. In a tag question a statement is made and a question is asked after that.
For an example-
a) You are busy, Aren't you?
b) Rankers is the best institute for preparing for government jobs, isn't it?

Four basic rules have to be kept in mind while making question tags-

1 The sentence and the question tag will be in the same tense.
2 If the sentence is an affirmative sentence, the question tag will be negative. If the sentence is a negative sentence the question tag will be positive.
3 The pronoun is always used in the question tag.
4 In negative question tags we use the contracted form of the ' helping verb and not' Eg- Hasn't , couldn't etc.

Rules & Explanations along with Application / Examples.

1.In affirmative sentence the question tag will be negative.
Examples - a. A good student always works hard, doesn't he?
                   b. A teacher goes to school daily, doesn't he?
                   c. Madhu plucks flowers, doesn't she?
                   d. You appeared at the SSC examination, didn't you?
                   e. Helmet makes driving safe, doesn't it?

2. In Negative Sentence the Tag question will be Positive.
Examples - a. All the children were not present, were they?
                   b. Everybody cannot be clever, can they?

3. For sentences having modal Auxiliary (can, could, will, would, may, might, must, shall, should, ought to, need, would rather, had better, dare) Tags will be shalln't „ will not, won't , can't etc depending on whether positive or negative is needed.
 Examples: a. A healthy body can achieve the impossible, can't it?
                   b. A student should be regular in studies, shouldn't he?
                   c. Everybody cannot drive, can they?
                   d. Everbody should wear a seat belt while driving , shouldn't they?
                   e. Water animals can breathe under water, can't they?

4 Everybody, everyone , no one, no body are singular. So we use a singular verb and singular pronoun with them. But in the question tag a plural verb and a plural pronoun will be used.
Examples — a. Everybody has to pay his own bill, Haven't they?
                      b. None of your friends has arrived yet, Have they?

5. For Affirmative Imperative sentence we use will you or won't you in the question tag.
Examples —a. Be assured of all co-operation, will you?
                     b. Switch on the cooler, will you?
                     c. Please give me the documents , wont you?
                     d. Kindly take a seat, will you?

6 For Negative Imperative sentence we use will you as the question tag.
Examples —a. Don't touch the wire, will you?
                     b. Don't litter here, will you?
                     c. Don't make a noise in the class, will you?

7. For Imperative sentences beginning with let us , when a suggestion or proposal is being made the question tag will be shall we.
Examples —a. Let us go for a movie ,shall we?
                     b. Let us help her to complete the work , shall we?
                     c. Let us go to meet her, shall we?

8 For Imperative sentences beginning with let but not followed by us , the question tag will be will you.
Examples —a.Let Madhu go, will you?
                     b. Let them do their homework, will you?
                     c.Let the labourer go, will you?

9 For imperative sentences having nothing, anything, everything, something as the subject the question.
tag will have it as the pronoun.
Examples —a. Everything has gone bad today, hasn't it?
                     b. Everything is clear, isn't it?
                     c. Nothing can revive this worse situation, can it?

10 If any sentence has used to in it then the question tag will be usedn't/didn't.
Examples — a. He used to come here, usedn't he?
                      b. He used to play the casio very well, didn't he?

11 Never, no, nobody, hardly, seldom, scarcely, few, little, not ,none ,rarely etc. are negative words. So the question tag will not be negative.
Examples — a. A barking dog seldom bites, does it?
                      b. My son never stands still, does it?
                      c. He hardly does his duties, does he?


12. In exclamatory sentences the question tag will contain the auxiliary verbs.
Examples — a. How beautiful the garden is, isn't it?
                      b. How big the slide is, isn't it?
                      c. How nicely the bird sings, isn't it?


13. Moon, earth, river, motherland, country, ship, train are treated as feminine gender. In the tag question the Pronoun used will be "she". Instead of she it can also be used.
Examples — a) The Titanic was thought to be unsinkable, wasn't she?

                      b) India has never attacked any country, has she?

14 There is no contracted form of am not. So in question tags aren't is used.
Examples - a. I am a little late today, aren't I?

                   b. I am confident, aren't I?

Note : But if the questioln tag to be used is not in contracted form then 'Am I' can be used.  
Examples - a. I am not late today, Am I?  
                   b. I am not busy, Am I?

15 If the subject of a sentence is there/one/this/that/these/those then the question tag will contain there/one/this etc as the pronoun.
Examples - a. There is a book on the table, Isn't there?
                   b. One cannot find a solution to this problem, Can one?

16 Collective nouns are used in singular forms so the question tag will have a singular verb and a singular pronoun.
Examples - a. The class has selected its monitor, hasn't it?
                   b. The team has played very well, hasn't it?

But if the collective noun is not treated as one unit, we use the plural verb and the plural pronoun
Example - The team have to arrange for their own shoes , haven't they?

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GIVE THE CORRECT QUESTION TAG FOR THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE(DO BY YOURSELF FIRST)

1. Cricket is more popular today,______ ?
2. Every action has an opposite reaction,______?
3. I am a student of Rankers, ______?
4. I had a bad headache yesterday,______ ?
5. It is an important matter,_____ ?
6. I am happy, _____ ?
7. The jury gave different opinions, _____ ?
8. The kid is crying,_____ _____ 
9. It was a terrible accident, _____ ?
10. We must eat vegetables,_____  ?
11. Love the poor,_____  ?
12. I am taking tea, _____ ?
13. We should love country, _____ ?
14. Everything was alright,_____  ?
15. We were warned of the danger, _____ ?
16. I am innocent, _____ ?
17. Neither of them were responsible, _____ ?
18. Man is mortal, _____ ?
19. I am tired, _____ ?
20. Either you or your brother came here, _____ ?
21. Frankel cast his magic spell in the laboratory, _____ ?
22. Nobody cheated on the exam, _____ ?
23. Ice touches cold, _____ ?
24. Nobody dared to do it, _____ ?
25. It is an important matter, _____ ?

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ANSWERS




 1 Isn't it?          2 Hasn't it?               3 Aren't I?             4 Hadn't I?           5 Isn't it?           6 Aren't I?   7 Didn't they?  8 Isn't it/he?              9 Wasn't it?           10 Musn't we?     11 Won't you?  12 Aren't I? 

 13 Shouldn't we?   14 Wasn't it?       15 Weren't we?     16 Aren't I?         17 Were they?   18 Isn't he?   19 Aren't I?      20 Didn't you?          21 Didn't he?        22 Did they?       23 Doesn't it?   24 Did they? 25 Isn't it? 









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