Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Question tags and where, when to use in English sentence

• What are question tags?

We Indians use only one form of question tag everywhere
i.e.,Isn’t it? or Is it not?

Question tags are the small questions which often comeat the
ends of sentences in conversation.

We use question tags when we want to confirm a statement as in
the dialogue. Sometimes we use them as fillers.

When a speaker uses a question tag for confirmation, he/she
will say it with a rising tune. If it is used as a filler, it will be said with a
falling tune.

• When the statement is assertive
1. It is a nice day today, isn’t it? (Is not it?)
2. You have got my bill ready, haven’t you? (Have not you?)
I owe you for three weeks, don’t I? (Do not ?)
(do+owe)

• When the statement is negative
1. You don’t mind a cheque, do you?
2. She isn’t my teacher, is she?

Note: An unusual form to remember.

I am a bit early to get the bill, aren’t I? (Instead of Amn’t I?’,
which is not used)

Note the other forms of question tags too:

• Assertive (be verb as auxiliary)
The students are coming from School, aren’t they?

• Negative (be verb as auxiliary)
We aren’t going to the station now, are we?

• Assertive (modal auxiliary)
The doctor w ill attend this patient, won’t he/she? (Will not he/
she)?

•Negative (modal auxiliary)
Our boys cannot leave the school now, can they?
Shobha didn’t go to school yesterday, did she?

• Imperatives
Pass the salt, will you?
Don’t forget, will you?
Shut up. can’t you/ will you?
Let’s go home, shall we?

There’s something wrong, isn’t there?
•Negative words
You never say what you think, do you?
Nobody called me, did they?

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