The Mysterious Tag Question Revealed

The tag question is a handy device that can be used to turn any statement into a question.

It can also save time and effort by allowing you to combine two sentences into one. With the following FAQ, you’ll be creating questions like these with ease!

How exactly do I form a tag question?

Take any statement, add a mini-question to the end, and then place the proper punctuation (comma + question mark) around it.

Today was a great day, don’t you think?

Why would I want to do this? 

The answer is simple. You would do this to check, confirm, or seek validation on the statement that comes just before. Common words used to do so include ‘right’, ‘correct’, and ‘you know’.

  • Your birthday is coming up soon, right?
  • I’m supposed to arrive at 7:30 p.m., correct?
  • Rent is so expensive in this town, you know? (Note: this one is for casual situations)

Is there anything else I should know?

Yes, there is one key concept to explain—the two types of tags.

What are the two types of tags?

There are positive and negative tags.

When we have a positive statement, we use a negative tag with it.

  • She can do algebra, can’t she?
  • Dinner is almost ready, isn’t it?
  • I’m a responsible person, aren’t I?

So, when do I use a positive tag?

In the opposite situation! We do the reverse when dealing with a negative statement. In these cases, switch it to a positive tag.

  • He isn’t very creative, is he?
  • The spider wasn’t large, was it?
  • My socks aren’t in the drawer, are they?

Bonus: Why did I see ‘aren’t I’ as a negative tag up above?

Great observation!

Since there is no contraction for ‘am not’, we must change it to ‘aren’t’. ‘Am I not’ is also possible, but it makes the question sound quite formal and emphatic!

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