A question tag is a type of question often found at the end of a statement. It is used to change a statement or sentence to a question when it is added. A question tag is a common device in conversation which is aimed at making a statement and at once asking the listener to confirm it.

Question tags

Question tags are short phrases that are added to the end of a sentence to turn it into a question and seek confirmation or agreement from the listener. They are used to engage the listener in conversation or to check if the speaker’s assumption or statement is correct. Here are some examples of question tags:

1. It’s a beautiful day, isn’t it?
2. You’ve finished your homework, haven’t you?
3. She won the game, didn’t she?
4. They don’t like spicy food, do they?
5. We can go now, can’t we?
6. He’s a doctor, isn’t he?
7. You don’t mind if I borrow your pen, do you?
8. Let’s go for a walk, shall we?

In these examples, the question tags are “isn’t it,” “haven’t you,” “didn’t she,” “do they,” “can’t we,” “isn’t he,” “do you,” and “shall we.” The first part of the sentence is a statement, and the question tag is added to turn it into a question or seek confirmation from the listener.


  1. Positive statements attract negative question tags (i.e. question tags with ‘not’). Examples are (a) He is early this morning, isn’t he? (b) You can swim very well, can’t you?
  2. Negative statements attract positive question tags (i.e. question tags without;’ not’). Example (a) he isn’t early this morning, is he? (b) You can’t swim very well can you?
  3. The auxiliaries or helping verbs repeat themselves in the tag. Examples: (a) He has finish the work hasn’t he? (b) She will sing on Sunday, won’t she?
  4. Other verb (main or lexical) use ‘do’ in the tag. Example (a) Joseph called you yesterday didn’t he? (b) Mary and Yetunde always sing a song don’t they?
  5. The subject in the tag is always a pronoun and a reflection of the subject in the statement or sentences of which it was added. Example: (a) Kunle always smokes cigarette doesn’t he (b) You don’t care for you mother, do you?
  6. The positive forms ‘need’ and ‘dare are rarely used in the affirmative with question tags but when so used, they are treated as full or main verb. Example (a) you need to cone earlier don’t you? (b) We need to ask him don’t we?
  7. “I am” usually has the tag “aren’t “I and ”used to” has a question tag with “did”. Example (a) I am your friend aren’t I? (b) She used to take her to the poultry didn’t she?


Add question tags to the following statement

  1. The president has done very well—————?
  2. Lagos isn’t a clean city———————?
  3. Taiwo should rise to the occasion—————–?
  4. He will have to work hard——————?
  5. Student who are lazy don’t pass————–?

    See also




    CONTRAST /t/ and /s/


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