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Question Tags & Tenses

In this article, we will be looking into question tags and tenses (simple & perfect tense). Let’s get started.

Question Tags

Question tags are used to verify or confirm something or even express doubt. To figure out a question tag:

  1. Look at the tone of the first part of the sentence: Positive or Negative?

  2. The tone of the second part must be the opposite.

For example, You saw (positive: the action DID happen) it too, didn’t (negative: did not (see)) you?

  1. Notice how contractions are often used.

Practice Questions

Question 1:

She isn’t going to the dentist, ______________?

  1. is she

  2. isn’t she

  3. she is

  4. isn’t it

Answer:

1) is she

Explanation:

As the tone of the second part of the sentence must be the opposite, the correct answer to this question is option (1) - "is she". The opposite of "isn't" will be "is", so the options (2) and (4) are completely incorrect. Option (3) is also not correct as the sentence ends with a question mark. So, the correct answer is option (1).


Question 2:

Johnny Kwest can’t cook to save his life, _____________?

  1. can’t he

  2. can he

  3. could he

  4. couldn’t he

Answer:

2) can he

Explanation:

As the tone of the second part of the sentence must be the opposite, we need to find the opposite of "can't". So, the correct answer to this question is option (2) - “can he”. Options (3) & (4) are incorrect as we don't change the form of the verb for no reason. Option (1) is also incorrect as the tone is not opposed to the first part of the sentence but is exactly the same in option (1).
 

Question 3:

_____________ supposed to take this, are they?

  1. They’re not

  2. They not

  3. They are

  4. They’re

Answer: 

1) they're not

Explanation:

As the second part of the sentence contains “are they”, and it will be the opposite of the first part of the sentence, the correct answer to this question is option (1) - “they’re not”. 

Simple Past Tense vs Past Perfect Tense

The simple past tense is used for a past event at a specified time. The past perfect tense, however, has the following attributes:

  1. Begins with a “had” regardless of number.

For example, “They had seen it”, “He had seen it”

  1. Uses the Past Participle form of the verb

For example, go > went > gone

  1. It is used for the earlier two completed actions

For example, She had watered the plants before it rained.

Let’s now look at some of the examples to understand simple past tense and past perfect tense better.

Simple Past Tense

Past Perfect Tense

Saw

Had seen

Slept

Had slept

Went

Had gone

Forgot

Had forgotten

Slayed

Had slain

Practice Questions

Question 1:

Natasha _____________ the cookies even before they were packed into the gift boxes.

(Hint: Which action happened first? Use the Past Perfect Tense for it.)

  1. had ate

  2. had eaten

  3. ate

  4. has eaten

Answer:

2) had eaten

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - "had eaten". Options (3) & (4) are completely incorrect as there is no "had" mentioned. Option (1) is also incorrect as "ate" is the past tense of eating, and we never use the past tense with "had"; we always use the past principle tense.

 

Question 2:

They _________________ two hours ago. You can find them in the lounge.

(Hint: How many past actions are there?)

  1. arrived

  2. had arrived

  3. had arrive

  4. arrive

Answer:

1) arrived

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - “arrived” as there is only 1 past action in the sentence of their arrival.

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

Question 1:

_____________ going on a vacation next week, aren’t you?

  1. You

  2. You aren’t

  3. You are not

  4. You’re

 

Question 2:

Aymer _____________ at the airport when she received the text message.

  1. have arrived

  2. arrived

  3. had arrived

  4. had arrive

 

Question 3:

Mother ______________ to the market early yesterday morning to avoid the crowd.

  1. had gone

  2. had went

  3. gone

  4. went

Continue Learning
Comprehension Comprehension Questions
Vocabulary MCQ Vocabulary Cloze
Connectors Adverbs
Adjectives Tenses
Verb Forms & Perfect Tenses Simple Continuous Tenses
Words In Games Quantifiers
Editing Synthesis and Transformation
Question Tags & Tenses Composition Writing
Verb Forms Subject - Verb Agreement
Resources - Academic Topics
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