An Online Catalogue of English Grammar Exercises

Checking Questions: sometimes called 'tag questions'.

You need to know the auxiliary verbs and the modal auxiliary verbs before you can do this exercise.

Auxiliary verbs help make the tenses of verbs e.g 'be' - I'm having a good time; 'have' - I've seen the Prince; 'do' -do you like ice-cream?

Modal verbs add meaning to the main verbs: e.g. Can you cook? I might see him tonight. Will you tell me the truth? Should you drink so much? Could I borrow some money from you? You must drive on the left in New Zealand.

'Tag questions' are used to check if you are right: e.g. Your name is John, isn't it?

n.b. this is said with rising intonation if you are asking a question.

It is said with falling intonation if you are sure you know.

n.b. You have to use the same auxiliary as you use in the main part of the sentence in the tag <&> e.g. You can swim, can't you?

You can see in the example above that you have to make the tag negative if the auxiliary in the main part of the sentence is affirmative and the opposite if the opposite is true!

Practice Exercise:

1. Host talking to two visitors, a husband and wife: Both of you had been to Australia before you came to Canada,.......?

2. Male visitor: No, I hadn't. It was our first time,........, dear? (to his wife)

3.Wife: Well, it was the first time you'd been abroad,.....? But I came here with my first husband,......I?

4.Husband: You couldn't travel much in those days,

5.Wife: You mean a long time ago when I was young,....?

6.Husband: I wouldn't be so rude,....? I meant you didn't have much money when you were a student,......?

7.Host: He must be right about that,.....?

8.Wife: He's got to be right about something,.....?

9.Host: I'm not being a very good host,....? You would like a drink,.....?

10. Husband: We'd love one,....?


Answers: 1. hadn't you?  2. wasn't it?  3. wasn't it? didn't I?  4. could you?           5. don't you?    6. would I? did you?   7. mustn't he?    8.  Hasn't he?    9. am I? wouldn't you?  10. wouldn't we?

Read The A - Z of English Grammar & Usage for the rules.

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