1. to check information we believe to be true --Situation: The teacher is talking to Jim about a test he failed. The teacher believes that he didn’t study. Teacher: What happened? Didn’t you study? Jim: No. --Situation: Jane believes Kevin’s plane leaves at three. She asks a negative question to make sure that her information is correct. Jane: It’s already one o’clock. We’d better leave for the airport. Doesn’t your plane leave at three? Kevin: Yes, it does.
2. to comment on a situation Situation: Bob and Jennifer went to the movies. After the movies Jennifer said to Bob what she thought about the movie. Bob may agree or disagree with her. Jennifer: Wasn’t the movie boring? Bob: It wasn’t that bad.
Negative Questions: am + I formal: Am + I + not Am I not your best friend? informal: Aren’t + I Aren’t I your best friend?
Form Tony is from Texas, isn’t he? Tony lives in Texas, doesn’t he? Tony isn’t living in Texas, is he? Tony has been living in Texas, hasn’t he? Tony had lived in Texas, hadn’t he? Tony won’t be living in Texas, will he? Tony is going to live in Texas, isn’t he? Tony shouldn’t live in Texas, should he? Tony can live in Texas, can’t he? Tony wouldn’t live in Texas, would he? Tony has a sister, doesn’t he? Tony has lived with her, hasn’t he?
A tag question is question added at the end of a statement. Affirmative Statement + Negative Tag Jane has a child, doesn’t she? David has gone to England, hasn’t he? Negative Statement + Positive Tag Kevin doesn’t work, does he? You hadn’t taken English classes before, had you?
Note affirmative statement affirmative answer Mark: You work tomorrow, don’t you? James: I sure do. Negative statement negative answer David: You won’t forgive me, will you? Linda: Of course not.
Rules 1. to be in statement to be in tag questions Victor isn’t reliable, is he? Ron and Ann were happy at the party, weren’t they? 2. auxiliary verbs in statements auxiliary in tag Alan doesn’t work full-time, does he? You won’t be working late again, will you? The bus hasn’t arrived yet, has it? Valentina is taking ESL classes, isn’t she?
3. modals in the statement modals in the tag Mike should look for a better job, shouldn’t he? James couldn’t pay for college, could he? You can dance Cha Cha Cha, can’t you? 4. no to be, auxiliary verbs or modals in the statement do, does or did in the tag Christ and Thomas live in Texas, don’t they? Steve works hard, doesn’t he? The children went to the park, didn’t they?
5. only contractions in negative tag questions It’s late, is not it? (incorrect) It’s late, isn’t it? Jeff should help you, should not he? (incorrect) Jeff should help you, shouldn’t he? 6. I + negative tag I’m in building 66, am I not? (formal) I’m in building 66, aren’t I? (informal)
7. only pronouns Victoria is nice, isn’t Victoria? (incorrect) Victoria is nice, isn’t she? 8. that / this it That was a terrible accident, wasn’t it? This picture is beautiful, isn’t it? 9. those / these they Those chairs are comfortable, aren’t they? These shoes are expensive, aren’t they?
10. never, rarely and seldom + positive tag Peter has never arrived on time, has he? Diana is rarely late for work, is she? Tony seldom works on Sundays, does he? 11. there / it There are four male students, aren’t there? It’s late, isn’t it?
Intonation Your voice falls when you check information or comment on a situation. You expect the listener to agree with you. Rosie: The quiz was easy, wasn’t it? Molly: Yeah. Your voice rises when you want to get some information. You expect to get an answer. The answer can be a yes or no. Tom: You’re not working tomorrow, are you? Jerry: No. Tomorrow is my day off.
1. to check information we believe to be true Brian: Kathy plays the piano, doesn’t she? Rosie: Yes, she does. Tony: You aren’t married, are you? Jessica: No, I’m not.
2. to give your opinion on a situation Nicole: Mark was polite, wasn’t he? Molly: Yeah. Stranger: Nice day, isn’t it? You: I prefer cooler days. Note: The listener may agree or disagree.
Note Negative questions and tag questions are used more often in spoken English than in written English.
Note affirmative or negative statements + right, isn’t that right or (hah) You’re my friend, right? Peggy isn’t friendly, isn’t that right? Ken hasn’t left yet, isn’t that right? This is room 105, right? Tag questions are easy, hah?
Review Tag Questions 1. Joe left for Chicago last night, _____? 2. The plane didn’t arrive on time, _____? 3. The bus doesn’t stop on this corner, _____? 4. There’s a student from Iran in this class, __? 5. Tony isn’t a very independent person, ____? 6. You won’t be back before noon, _____? 7. Tina has a sister, _____? 8. There are many students absent today, ___? 9. You have never eaten frog legs, _____? 10. We shouldn’t take a break today, _____?
11. It wasn’t raining this morning, ____? 12. This is a nice day, _____? 14. Number thirteen is an unlucky number, __? 16. Eddie seldom works on Sundays, _____? 17. You haven’t had breakfast yet, _____? 18. George’s wife has a good job, _____? 19. You rarely eat alone, _____? 20. Jane’s husband has been ill for a while, __? 21. You don’t remember my name, _____? 22. He used to dance well, ____? 23. You will be working later, _____?
24. That’s your dog, _____? 25. Charles and Beth were never in love, ___? 26. The tire has a nail, _____? 27. It hasn’t begun to rain, _____? 28. I’m in your attendance, _____? 29. This is Level-4 _____? 30. Any has to study harder, _____? 31. Jerry doesn’t like the rain _____? 32. Edward could seldom keep a job _____? 33. You had never taken English classes before ____?
34. Vicky hasn’t arrived yet, _____? 35. They have two children, _____? 36. Angela can help us, _____? 37. It rains a lot in February, ____? 38. Molly has good parents, _____? 38. We’re working on tag questions, ____? 39. Your brother has a moustache, _____? 40. It hadn’t been raining before noon, _____? 41. I gave you my telephone number, _____? 42. You’ll never tell my secret, _____? 43. This exercise is easy, _____?
Review Additions 1. Joe left for Chicago,and……. 2. Tony isn’t a very independent person, and 3. You won’t be back before noon, and …. 4. Tina has a sister, and…. 5. David has never eaten frog legs, and… 6. They shouldn’t take a break today, and… 7. She didn’t study, and 8. They showed up on time, and 9. Ken likes to take it easy, and…. 10. She hasn’t done her homework, and…
11. Eddie seldom works on Sundays, and.. 12. You haven’t had breakfast yet, and… 13. George’s wife has a good job, and… 14. You never eat alone, and… 15. Jane’s husband is a musician, and 16. You don’t smoke, and…. 17. He used to dance well, and… 18. You will be working later, and… 19. They didn’t finish the test, and… 20. Tina won’t be working on Sunday, and 21. John only slept for an hour, and
34. Vicky hasn’t arrived yet, and… 35. They have two children, and…. 36. Angela can help us, and…. 37. Angela couldn’t help us, and… 38. Molly has good parents, and… 38. They’re working on additions, and… 39. Your brother has a moustache, and… 40. He wasn’t broke, and … 41. She hasn’t found a job, and…. 42. You’ll never tell my secret, and 43. They are smart, and….