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17. Question tags


1 Use

Melanie: It's a lovely day, isn't it?
Harriet: Beautiful. We're having a glorious summer, aren't we?
Melanie: You haven't heard a forecast for the weekend, have you?
Harriet: No, I haven't, but I think it's going to stay sunny.

A question tag is a short question added on to a statement. When a tag is spoken, the voice can go down or up.

2 Form

The pronoun (you, he, etc.) refers to the subject of the sentence, e.g. you, David.
In the Present Simple and Past Simple we use a form of do.

The answer yes means that the positive is true, and no means that the negative is true.
Mark works for Zedco, doesn't he? - Yes, he does. (He works for Zedco.)
Melanie doesn't eat meat, does she? - Yes, I think she does. (She eats meat.)
Claire is married, isn't she? - No, of course she isn't. (She isn't married.)
Andrew hasn't got many friends, has /le? - No. (He hasn't got many friends.)

3 Requests and suggestions

After a request with an imperative (e.g. Wait ...), we can use can you? or could you?
Wait here a moment, can you?
Give me an example, could you?
We can also use You couldn't ... , could you? or You haven't ... , have you? for a request.
You couldn't help me, could you?
You haven't got a pound, have you?
After Don't ... the tag is will you?: Don't make any noise, will you?
After Let's ... we use shall we?: Let's sit in the garden, shall we?

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