Tags for intermediate learners

Tags are short clauses that look like questions. They are generally used at the end of a clause to ask for a response from the listener. Let's learn more!

Tags in the English Grammar

What Are Tags?

When we want to make sure that something is true or not, we use tags.

Tag Questions

A tag question is a short question that is added to the end of a statement to confirm information or to seek agreement or disagreement. For example:

They are here, aren't they?

He can drive, can't he?


To form a tag question, you can use the following structure:


When the statement is positive the tag is negative, and when the statement is negative the tag is positive.

They will accept, won't they?

My mother isn't here, is she?

How to Choose the Right Auxiliary?

If there is an auxiliary verb in the statement, you should use it in the tag question too. But if the sentence only contains a main verb, you should use the auxiliary do (did/does) in the tag question. Here are the examples:

You want a cup of tea, don't you?

She isn't your mom, is she?

Using Negative Tags

When using negative tags, usually the contracted form is used. Here are the examples:

He wants to come, doesn't he?

You will stay tonight, won't you?


Tag questions are used to make sure about the information that we already know. Here is the general rule:

  • Negative sentence, positive tag?
  • Positive sentence, negative tag?


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