EXPRESSION OF CONFIRMATION (QUESTION TAG)
After posting numerous general articles related to translation and site review, today I post one article related to language focus. That is Question Tag. Question tag is used to confirm the sentence. The form of sentence which has question tag will be like these:
1. If statement is positive, the question tag is negative
2. If the statement is negative, the question tag is positive
Question tag works based on the verbs, to be, and auxiliaries that used. You will use different question tag on each sentence, depends on those 3 things, sentence structure, and the tense that you use. See the examples below and pay attention to the bold-printed words:
Question tag based on the verbs:
1. You play football, don’t you?
2. He comes too late, doesn’t he?
3. The girls borrow your books, don’t they?
4. She doesn’t like dog, does she?
5. Sarah finished the paper yesterday, didn’t she?
6. Farhan flew to Sydney last month, didn’t he?
Here you see that the verb is paired with do / does / don’t / doesn’t / did / didn’t. Once more, you just need to have a look at the statement. If you have a positive statement, then you should use the negative form of question tag (… play …., don’t …?). On the contrary, if you have a negative statement, you should use the positive form of question tag. Don’t forget to pay attention to the subject, because you need to change it into suitable/appropriate pronoun in the question tag.
Question tag based on the “to be”:
1. Sarah is smart, isn’t she?
2. The students are facing hard exam, aren’t they?
3. You were not there last night, were you?
4. He was with you, wasn’t he?
5. I am early this afternoon, aren’t I? [In this part, “I am” is changed into “aren’t I”. But sometimes people say “am I not” instead of saying “aren’t I”]
6. I am not a teacher, am I? [In this part, “I am not” just turns into “am I”]
Question tag based on the auxiliaries:
For the statements that use auxiliary you will need to pay special attention, because sometimes they are confusing. Sometimes they appear like a verb, so you must be careful to decide whether they are real auxiliary or completely a verb. Look at the samples below:
1. You have just visited your grandfather, haven’t you?
2. She has started the job, hasn’t she?
Then compare them with these one:
1. You have dozens of novel, don’t you?
2. She has a rose garden in the backyard, doesn’t she?
Besides using question tag, expression of confirmation can be also using “… right?” to confirm the statement. This form needs no specific rule and it’s the easiest form of confirmation. But please notice that this form is only used in non-formal daily conversation. Examples:
1. You came here at seven, right?
2. He doesn’t like badminton, right?
3. I didn’t do any mistake, right?