Explanations » B1 Grammar Explanations » Question tags – aren’t you? don’t you?
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Question tags – aren’t you? don’t you?

Informative grammar chart demonstrating how to form question tags in English, with examples for positive and negative statements across different verb tenses and modal verbs.

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Meaning

Question tags are used at the end of statements to turn the statements into questions. We usually use question tags to confirm something that we believe to be true or to invite the listener to agree or disagree with a statement.

When we use question tags, the way our voice goes up or down at the end can change the meaning.

Voice goes up ↗ This means we’re not sure about what we’re saying, and we’re really asking for help to know if it’s true or not. For example, “You’re coming to the party, aren’t you?” said with your voice going up is like saying, “Please tell me if you are coming because I don’t know.”

Voice goes down ↘ This means we’re pretty sure about what we’re saying, and we just want the other person to agree with us. For example, “It’s hot today, isn’t it?” said with your voice going down is like saying, “I think it’s hot and I believe you think so too, right?”

Form

Use the same auxiliary verb as in the main sentence. If there is no auxiliary verb, use do for present and did for past.

Use a comma before the question tag and a subject pronoun at the end (I, you, he, she, it, we, you, they).

  • You are his brother, aren’t you?
  • He will be there, won’t he?
  • You work here, don’t you?
  • Sam used to live in Scotland, didn’t he?

If the main sentence is positive, use a negative auxiliary.

If the main sentence is negative, use a positive auxiliary.

  • You like it, don’t you?
  • You don’t like it, do you?

Aren’t I?

Note when we have an affirmative sentence with I am, the question tag is aren’t I?

  • I’m totally wrong, aren’t I?