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Guide on the Rules of Making Tag Question in English

TAG QUESTION – Here are the main rules that you should observe in constructing it in English.

Under the English subject, we will learn a lot of lessons since pre-school years until college. It is always one of the core subjects in every grade level.

The English lessons taught from kindergarten to college is on increasing order in terms of difficulty or complexity. Most of the basic foundations of grammar are taught in the elementary years.

One of those English lessons that is taught in elementary is the tag question. In this article, we will learn about its definition and as well as the rules in constructing it.

Tag Question

In English, a tag question refers to a declarative sentence that is turned into an interrogative sentence at the end.

To turn a declarative sentence into a tag question, follow these:

  • change the period into a comma
  • identify the gender of the subject
  • identify the verb in the sentence
  • observe the rules in construction
  • add a question mark at the end of the sentence


Declarative Sentence: Joey is coming to the party.
Tag Question: Joey is coming to the party, isn’t he?

  • Isn’t he
    • isn’t – the negative counterpart of the linking verb “is” in the sentence.
    • he – the gender of the subject


There are two(2) main rules in constructing a tag question:

  • Use a negative tag on a positive statement
  • Use a positive tag on a negative statement

Negative Tag on Positive Statement

Declarative Sentence: The dog is wagging its tail.

Subject – dog
Verb – is

Sentence w/ tag: The dog is wagging its tail, isn’t it?

Declarative Sentence: Mr. Gumban called him.

Subject – Mr. Gumban
Verb – called

Sentence w/ tag: Mr. Gumban called him, didn’t he?

Positive Tag on Negative Statement

Declarative Sentence: The doctor did not come.

Subject – doctor
Verb – did not come

Sentence w/ tag: The doctor did not come, did he?

Declarative Sentence: The cat did not eat the cake.

Subject – cat
Verb – did not eat

Sentence w/ tag: The cat did not eat the cake, did it?


Here are other examples separating the declarative sentence from the tag question:

Declarative Sentence: The fried pork will be served for dinner.
Sentence w/ Tag: The friend pork will be served for dinner, wouldn’t it?

Declarative Sentence: The teacher did not answer her phone.
Sentence w/ Tag: The teacher did not answer her phone, did she?

Declarative Sentence: The bamboo tree did not bend amid the wind.
Sentence w/ Tag: The bamboo tree did not bend amid the wind, did it?

READ ALSO: KINDS OF ADJECTIVES – 5 Kinds Of Adjectives & Their Definitions, Examples

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