Tag Questions (Câu hỏi đuôi)

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

I. Definition & Usage:

A tag question is a special construction in English. It is a statement followed by a mini-question. The whole sentence is a “tag question”, and the mini-question at the end is called a “question tag”.

We use tag questions at the end of statements to ask for confirmation. They mean something like: “Am I right?” or “Do you agree?” They are very common in English.

III. Structures:

1. Basic structure:

Positive statement

Negative tag

E.g.: Snow is white,

isn’t it?

Negative statement

Positive tag

E.g.: You don’t like me,

do you?

2. Special cases:

I am right, aren’t I? (not “am not I”)
Nothing came in the post, did it?
Let’s go, shall we? (let’s = let us)

Question tags with imperatives

Sometimes we use question tags with imperatives (invitations, orders), but the sentence remains imperative and does not require a direct answer. We use “won’t” for invitations. We use “can, can’t, will, would” for orders.

imperative + question tag



Take a seat, won’t you?



Help me, can you?

quite friendly

Help me, can’t you?

quite friendly (some irritation)

Close the door, would you?

quite polite

Do it now, will you?

less polite

Don’t forget, will you?

with negative imperatives only “will” is possible

Same-way question tags

Although the basic structure of tag questions is positive-negative or negative-positive, it is sometime possible to use a positive-positive or negative-negative structure. We use same-way question tags to express interest, surprise, anger etc, and not to make real questions.


So you’re having a baby, are you? That’s wonderful!
She wants to marry him, does she? Some chance!
So you think that’s amusing, do you? Think again.

Negative-negative tag questions usually sound rather hostileExplanationthù địch e.g. So you don’t like my looks, don’t you?

IV. Answers to tag questions

Generally, to answer a tag question, we say “Yes” or “No”. Sometimes we may repeat the tag and reverse it (…, do they? Yes, they do).

Note: Answer a tag question according to the truth of the situation. Your answer reflects the real facts, not (necessarily) the question. For example, everyone knows that snow is white.

Look at these questions, and choose the correct answers:

Tag question

Correct answer

Snow is white, isn’t it?

Yes (it is).

the answer is the same in both cases – because snow IS WHITE!

Notice the change of stress when the answerer does not agree with the questioner

Snow isn’t white, is it?

Yes it is!

Snow is black, isn’t it?

No it isn’t!

the answer is the same in both cases – because snow IS NOT BLACK!

Snow isn’t black, is it?

No (it isn’t).

More examples (followed by correct answers):

The moon goes round the earth, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.
The earth is bigger than the moon, isn’t it? Yes.
The earth is bigger than the sun, isn’t it? No, it isn’t!
Asian people don’t like rice, do they? Yes, they do!
Elephants live in Europe, don’t they? No, they don’t!
Men don’t have babies, do they? No.
The English alphabet doesn’t have 40 letters, does it? No, it doesn’t.

Tests you might want to take

12 Comments in total

You can watch comments by subscribing to RSS 2.0 feed... or you can leave a comment! You can also reply to others' comments by clicking on the Reply button in their comments. Facebook comment is supported (but your comments won't be counted). Have fun discussing!

  1. your blog. these are very important because…

    having a large network of active links to you site will give you a much larger web presence, which generates more traffic for your blog. however, make sure that your links are on articles which are relevant to what your blog…

  2. in front of new people which again…

    is good for traffic and being seen.after all, why do you have a blog if you do not want people to know it’s there? and they will not know it’s there if they are not shown. writing your posts are important…

  3. of earning money from a blog.earning from…

    a blog by affiliate marketinganother best option for earning money from a blog is by affiliate marketing. this basically depends on your success of blog advertising. you can join various affiliate programs which pays you decent commission for every sal…

  4. to invest a lot of time just…

    for writing? then become an online writer, and make money by writing to others.you can also write an ebook about a topic you know about a lot. it’s a great way to make passive income. however, for this method you should…

  5. track of your business expenses and earnings…

    if you are working as a freelancer, and you will need to know how to find writing projects.must you choose a niche?having a niche isn’t essential for being a successful writer in a field; however, it can be very helpful if…

  6. you can use 3 types of headings:…

    heading 1, heading 2 and heading 3. make sure that headings to have the main keywords.on the other hand, you can highlight some important words or phrases, words that are much likely to be searched over the internet.paragraphs should not contain…

  7. bloggers are copycats. they quickly pick up…

    on trending topics and scurry off to write about them on their own blogs. and many, many food bloggers will notice another blogger writing about a giveaway or promotion, and then rush to contact the brand so that they can get…

  8. products online, such as ebooks, software or…

    sell websites, sell domains or sell designs for websites. if you are skilled in these areas, then you can actually put up a good business in this area.5. set up a blog with a profitable niche and make good money from…

  9. pressure of finishing a story, especially those…

    that have dead lines, do harm to the writer instead therefore making it doubly difficult for him to write and compose. you could also try indulging in your favorite dessert while scribbling. sometimes an empty and unsatisfied stomach gets in the…

Leave a Comment

An asterisk (*) indicates a required field.