A question tag or tag question is a grammatical structure in which a declarative statement or an imperative is turned into a question by adding an interrogative fragment (the "tag"). For example, in the sentence "You're John, aren't you?", the statement "You're John" is turned into a question by the tag "aren't you". The term "question tag" is generally preferred by British grammarians, while their American counterparts prefer "tag question". Tag questions are more common in colloquial spoken usage than in formal written usage. They can be an indicator of politeness, emphasis or irony. They may suggest confidence or lack of confidence; they may be confrontational, defensive or tentative. Although they have the grammatical form of a question, they may differ from questions in that they do not expect an answer. In other cases, when they do expect a response, they may differ from straightforward questions in that they cue the listener as to what response is desired.
This section is full of worksheets that can help your students practice forming and using tag questions. There are currently 51 tag questions worksheets to choose from so you are bound to find something your class will enjoy. This is a clever worksheet that combines the classic game, tic-tac-toe, with tag question practice. It would be appropriate for learners of any age from pre-intermediate on up. The lesson notes include directions, variations and even more practice activities so using this in your classroom will be simple. If this is not quite what you had in mind, there are other worksheets available too.
Tag questions are not incredibly challenging when it comes to sentence structure but they are often not taught in basic ESL courses. Whether or not you include them in your class depends on the ability and interests of your students. When forming tag questions, students must first create a grammatically correct statement and then add on a logical tag ending to form the question. Without learning tag questions, students will still be able to convey the same ideas. “You mailed it, didn’t you?” can easily be replaced with “Did you mail it?” to get the same response. The meaning is the same, only the delivery and stress is altered.
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