Question tags in the simple past

You do remember how to use question tags, don’t you? Let’s take a quick look at some questions tags asking for confirmation in the present.

For example:

You like him, don’t you?

You don’t eat fish, do you?

As you can see, when we use question tags we use the auxiliary “do” and the subject. If the main verb is affirmative, then the question tag is negative. Alternatively, if the verb is in the negative, the question tag is in the affirmative.

Remember that in the third person singular, the auxiliary “do” becomes “does.”

For example:

She likes him, doesn’t she?

He doesn’t eat fish, does he?

You can find out more about question tags in the present by checking out unit 24 of the ABA course.

Today however, we are going to be looking at question tags in the simple past

To form question tags in the simple past all we do is follow the same structure as for the present. We simply need to use the auxiliary “did” for all persons, both in the affirmative and negative.

For example:

You went to school today, didn’t you?

You didn’t go to school today, did you?

She worked hard today, didn’t she?

He didn’t pass his exam, did he?

We missed our plane, didn’t we?

In unit 70 we learned about “could” which is both a modal verb and the past form of can. Let’s take a look now how to use could in question tags!

Keep in mind that you do not need to use an auxiliary verb with could to form questions, negative sentences or question tags.

You could understand her when she speaks, couldn’t you?

She couldn’t come to the party, could she?

We could see the sea from our hotel room, couldn’t we?

He couldn’t get up early enough to take the train, could he?

Find out more about question tags in the simple past by checking out unit 72 of the ABA course.

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