Grammar Toolbox: Tag questions

Look at these two sentences:

  • John worked really hard, didn’t he?
  • Pamela didn’t make it, did she?

These are called tag questions. They are very common in spoken language, and definitely much more common in English than in Norwegian. We use them to show interest and to involve the people we are talking with. Here are some more examples:

  • We don’t think the same way, do we?
  • He drives too fast, doesn’t he?
  • He is quite handsome, isn’t he?
  • She hasn’t got a boyfriend, has she?
  • You're studying grammar, aren’t you?
  • I can do that, can’t I?

If the main sentence (before the comma) has an auxiliary verb (hjelpeverb), then this is used in the tag. If there is no auxiliary, we must use do/does/did.

Note that there is room for only one not (n't) in each sentence.