Tag Questions: How to get it right always.

Lesson 4.1

We have finished three important topics which were long and heavy. But the interactions were good and we got a lot of finished homework which we corrected and returned with suggestions. It is heartwarming to see people determined to get it right even if they have to try several times. The is only one way to fail in anything you do – QUIT or GIVE UP. In every other way you have a chance to be successful some day.
So, to give some relief to everyone after three days of hard work, let us look at a simple, but important topic. Questions on this appears on every tests. The chance to go wrong is really high.
Tag Questions.
Do you remember the 19 words, the operatives? That is our manthra and all of you know how to find them from any sentence. There could be more than one operative in some sentences.
is are am was were has have had do does did will would shall should can could may might.

When you want to make sure what you said is right, or get a confirmation from your listener, all you have to do is to end your sentence with a tag question.
For this, in writing there are 5 tiny points
1. a comma
2. the operative
3. ‘n’t’, the short form of ‘not’ added to the operative
4. a pronoun that refers to the subject
5. a question mark

Samuel is coming to the party.
Here, Samuel is a boy and the pronoun that refers to him must be ‘he’.
The operative is ‘is’.
So,
Samuel is coming to the party, isn’t he?
Done.
(Your much coveted job may depend on this simple answer in a job test.)
In case the sentence already has ‘not’ or any negative word in it, or if the sentence sound negative, you can drop ‘n’t’
Samuel is not coming to the party.
Samuel is not coming to the party, is he?

Make sure you find the right operative.

They know the answer. (the operative is ‘do’)
They know the answer, don’t they?

They knew the answer. (the operative is ‘did’)
They knew the answer, didn’t they?

Happy weekend! We will resume our lessons on Monday. It is time to discuss TENSES in English.

Exercises
Add question tags to the following sentences:
1. They are coming to the party,
2. Harold was a strange fellow,
3. He played well till the end,
4. She has many good friends,
5. Mary will help you cook,
6. People come here very often,
7. It can’t be true,
8. You couldn’t help him,
9. He carried it home,
10. They owned a nice house,
11. We were in a hurry,
12. He is a smart fellow,
13. They are playing cricket,
14. They do a lot of mischief,
15. He shows some interest now,
16. John likes tea,
17. He sells good cakes,
18. You speak softly,
19. She swims well,
20. He takes English lessons,
21. They often go to the pictures,
22. It costs fifty rupees,
23. She swims well,
24. They try to understand,
25. He walks to work,
26. I do it well,
27. You sleep well,
28. They play football,
29. He loves his wife,
30. We believe him,
31. Carrie spilled the soup,….
32. I run faster than any turtle in the world,
33. You will always remember this lesson,.
34. We’ll invent a better mouse trap,
35. I was absent, …
36. John forgot his password,
37. Sandpaper makes poor facial tissue,
38. Kevin and Travis hauled the boat out of the water,
39. We love your chocolate chip cookies,
40. I’ll tell you a secret that you won’t believe,
41. William knew that the story was false,
42. Yes, we were here yesterday,
43. I think you don’t know how to drive this bus,
44. I know who said that,
45. The geese will fly north in the spring,
46. He wasn’t angry,
47. Fred found fifty frogs floating in the fudge,
48. Ashley was the best speaker at the meeting,
49. Never pour mustard on my peaches,
50. We left after Marvin found his glasses,

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