“Question tags are simple, isn’t it?”
You see that there’s something wrong with that sentence, don’t you? Using ‘isn’t it’ as a question tag is quite a common error among Indian speakers of English.
What are question tags?
The short questions we put at the end of our sentences especially in spoken English. Question tags (or tag questions) can get a little confusing and since we use them in writing conversations, I thought we’d do a short refresher on the topic.
Here are some simple rules to help us question tags right.
With Auxiliary Verbs
When the main part of a sentence contains an auxiliary verb (some form of the verbs have, be). the question tag uses the auxiliary verb and the appropriate personal pronoun (I, you, he, she, we, you, they).
Seema is really clever. | Seema is really clever, isn’t she?
Anand has a new car. | Anand has a new car, hasn’t he?
We are leaving now. | We are leaving now, aren’t we?
Without Auxiliary Verbs
When the main part of a sentence doesn’t have an auxiliary verb, the question tag uses the appropriate form of the verb ‘do’.
You know Prakash. | You know Prakash, don’t you?
He goes there every day. | He goes there every day, doesn’t he?
Positive statements = negative question tags
He is very young. | He is very young, isn’t he?
They tire easily. | They tire easily, don’t they?
Negative statements = positive question tags
He isn’t very young. | He isn’t very young, is he?
They don’t tire easily| They don’t tire easily, do they?
Attention to ‘I am’
The question tag for sentences starting with ‘I am’ is ‘aren’t I’.
I am really smart. | I am really smart, aren’t I?
I’m going to be late. | I’m going to be late, aren’t I?
Orders and commands
Orders and commands use ‘will you’ in the question tag.
Give him a drink, will you?
Lock all the doors, will you?
Sentences that begin with ‘let’s’
These sentences use the question tag, ‘shall we?’
Let’s go for a movie, shall we?
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
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Our featured writer is Harmony Vuy with her post Walls.
Prompts for this week:
1. What makes you smile? What makes you happy?
2. Write about taking your favourite (or least-favourite) form of transportation.
3. Chaos — how do you feel about it?
4. “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde. Use this as inspiration for your post or within it.
5. Picture prompt (credit: Living my Imperfect Life)