# Comprehension & Question Tags

In this article, we will be learning about Question Tags and the different forms they appear in.

We will also go through some questions on Comprehension to ensure that our understanding of concepts is getting better.

## Comprehension - The Method

The Method and other pointers

• ‘The Method’ is an optional tool. It involves the following steps:
• Read the questions first - this helps you to understand what you need to know, and the words of the questions will tell you what the passage is about
• Then read question 1 and go to the relevant paragraph in the passage
• Repeat the above for every question
• Remember to read the entire text
• Never assume/create details unless asked to

### Practice Questions - Comprehension

Question 1:

Klara moved her shopping cart through the crowded aisle, running over toes and hitting people. She apologised profusely, embarrassed by her poor spatial awareness and clumsiness.

Which word in the paragraph tells us that Klara was not skillful at pushing the shopping cart?

1. Manoeuvred
2. Poor spatial awareness
3. Apologized
4. clumsiness

Solution:

Option 4 is the correct answer.

In the question, they asked ‘which word’ - it is a single word - so option 4 will fit and NOT option 2. It is a collection of 3 words.

Poor Spatial Awareness - poor awareness of the space around you. You keep swinging your hands and legs and hitting people around you etc.

Question 2:

Salasar got into his car and told it where to go. Upon arrival, he let himself out and walked across the compound. Upon seeing him, shocked guards stopped their tasks and snapped to attention, saluting him. He had an air of indifference but inside, hated that he received special treatment.

Why do you think the guards were shocked?

1. They had never seen someone like Salasar.
2. They had been slacking off and were caught by surprise.
3. They had not expected Salasar to show up then.
4. They found it weird that Salasar told his car where to go.

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer.

Option 1 is wrong - In the passage it is written - “Upon seeing him, shocked guards stopped their tasks and snapped to attention, saluting him.”

The guards did know him, else they would not snap to attention to salute him.

Option 2 is wrong - the guards were NOT slacking off - On the contrary, it is mentioned that “shocked guards stopped their tasks”. This means they were engaged in their respective tasks when he showed up unexpectedly.

Option 4 is wrong - He told his car where to go at the beginning of his journey and NOT at the end.

Question 3:

Salasar got into his car and told it where to go. Upon arrival, he let himself out and walked across the compound. Upon seeing him, shocked guards stopped their tasks and snapped to attention, saluting him. He had an air of indifference but inside, hated that he received special treatment.

Why do you think Salasar had an “air of indifference”?

1. It did not matter to him that he was treated specially.
2. That might be the expected behaviour from people of Salasar’s rank.
3. He wanted to appear cool to the guards.

Solution:

Option 2 is the correct answer

Option 1 - it is wrong. From the passage, we can see that he hated the special treatment given to him.

Option 3 - it is wrong. It is stated that he hated the special treatment. So he did not want to look cool.

‘Air of indifference’  - giving the impression that he does not care

Question 4:

I stood by the road, reading my book, till that became nearly impossible. The streetlights still weren’t on, so I closed it and started staring down at the road instead. Just then I saw familiar purple headlights. I smiled. Finally here!

Why do you think it became ‘nearly impossible’ for the author to read their book?

1. They were too distracted by the noises of the road.
2. They were feeling nervous and could not focus on the book.
3. It probably got too dark to read as suggested by the phrase “streetlights still weren’t on”.

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer

Option 1 is wrong. There is no mention in the passage that the roads were noisy. So let us not assume the details.

Option 2 is wrong. The author might be nervous but there is still no mention of it in the passage.

Option 3 is correct. ‘The streetlights still weren’t on’ - mentioned in the passage.

Why is “They”  being used for the author? In the passage, the gender of the author is not mentioned. So, if we use he/she, it is fine. But if we want to keep it gender-neutral, we say ‘they’.

Question 5:

I stood by the road, reading my book, till that became nearly impossible. The streetlights still weren’t on, so I closed it and started staring down at the road instead. Just then I saw familiar purple headlights. I smiled. Finally here!

Was the author waiting for someone to arrive on foot? Give evidence to support your answer.

1. Yes, as they themselves were standing by the road.
3. No, as they thought “Finally here!” upon seeing headlights, which could only belong to a vehicle.
4. No, as they were waiting by the road, so the person had to be driving and not walking.

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer

When you are standing by the road, someone can approach you either in a vehicle or by walking. But since they saw the ‘familiar purple headlights’, it is clear that they were waiting for someone coming in a vehicle, as only a vehicle can have headlights.

Thus, option 3 is the correct answer.

## Question Tags

• Question Tags have a positive and a negative part. The positive or negative part refers to the verb and not the tone of the sentence.
• When you use a question tag, you express the unsure nature of the situation.
• We often use contractions and not acronyms.

Contraction means to contract, to become smaller e.g. cannot becomes can’t, will not becomes won’t, etc.

Acronyms is an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words e.g. WHO - World Health Organisation

There are many question tags.

• We will look at ten in total.
• You should see a pattern.
• Then everything becomes easy.

### Practice Questions - Question Tags

Question 6:

They aren’t supposed to go there, ---------?

1. would they
2. do they
3. aren't they
4. are they

Solution:

Option 4 is the correct answer

aren’t - is a contraction for ‘are not’. This is negative. So, now we need something positive in the blank. Keeping the tense the same, we chose ‘are they’.

Options 1 and 2 are wrong because the tense is different.

Option 3 is wrong because we need a positive verb, since we already have a negative in the first part of the sentence.

Question 7:

You could’ve made that shot, __________?

1. could you
2. couldn’t you
3. can you
4. can’t you

Solution:

Option 2 is the correct answer

Option 1 is not correct - it is positive and the first part was also positive. We are looking for a negative verb.

Option 2 and Option 4 are wrong because of the wrong tense of the verb.

Question 8:

Look at the following sentences:

1. Have we met?
2. Haven’t we met?

Which sentence/s is/are grammatically correct?

1. A only
2. B only
3. Both A and B
4. Neither A nor B

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer.

1. Have we met?

In this sentence, the person is clueless. He is not sure if he even knows the other person.

1. Haven’t we met?

In this sentence, the other person looks familiar but he cannot recollect where he has met that person before. So, he is confused about the other person's identity and is trying to place him in his mind.

Both the sentences are grammatically correct but they convey different meanings.

Question 9:

Nezbit hates having fun, __________?

1. will he
2. wouldn’t he
3. doesn’t he
4. does he

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer

Option 1 is wrong - the verb does not match

Option 2 is wrong - the verb is different than in the first part

Option 4 is wrong - the verb matches, but the first part is positive when we are looking for a negative verb in the second part.

Question 10:

Karina barely has the opportunity to fly her plane, __________?

1. doesn’t she
2. hasn’t she
3. does she
4. has she

Solution:

Option 4 is the correct answer

The word ‘barely’ means hardly / rarely. It denotes a negative meaning. Therefore, the sentence can mean ‘has not’.

Since we have a negative verb in the first part, so we are looking for a positive verb in the second part.

Options 1 and 3 are ruled out since the verb tenses do not match.

Option 2 is wrong as it is again negative and we are looking for a positive verb.

### What makes a clause positive or negative?

It is not the message that makes the clause positive or negative but the verb. If the verb is positive, the clause is considered positive and if the verb is negative, then it is considered negative.

Question 11:

It’s not a good idea to mix raw and cooked food, __________?

1. would it
2. isn’t it
3. is it
4. was it

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer

It’s not = it is not

So, it is a negative clause. Now we need to look for a positive verb.

Option 1 is wrong as the verb does not match.

Option 2 is wrong because the verb is negative even though it is the same as in the first clause.

Option 4 is wrong as the verb is in a different tense.

Question 12:

They must have seen the muzzle flash, __________?

2. shouldn’t they
3. mustn’t they
4. must they

Solution:

Option 3 is the correct answer

Options 1 and 2 are wrong as their verb does not match with the verb in the question.

Option 4 is wrong - It is positive and the verb in the first part of the question (‘must’ve = must have’) is also positive. We cannot have two positives.

We need a pair of positive and negative verbs to qualify for a question tag. Thus, it is option 3 that is correct.

Question 13:

These soldiers should be able to do the job, __________?

1. should they
2. shouldn’t they
3. should it
4. shouldn’t it

Solution:

Option 2 is the correct answer

Option 1 is wrong as it is positive and the first part of the question is also positive.

Option 3 is wrong as it is positive and the pronoun is wrong as well. The question says ‘soldiers’ which is plural. In the option, a singular pronoun is used.

Option 4 is wrong because of the wrong pronoun even though the verb matches.

Question 14:

He was never interested in the sabbatical, __________?

1. weren’t he
2. isn’t he
3. wasn’t he
4. was he

Solution:

Option 4 is the correct answer

Was never - negative verb

We need a positive to fill in the blank.

Option 3 is wrong - Even though the verb matches, the verb here is negative. We cannot have two negatives. We need a positive one.

Option 1 and Option 2 are wrong because of verb mismatch.

Question 15:

She would scarcely recognize it, __________?

1. would she
2. wouldn’t she
3. will she
4. won’t she

Solution:

Option 1 is the correct answer

Would scarcely = would not

It is negative. We need a positive verb for the second part.

Option 2 is wrong as it is also negative.

Option 3 and Option 4 are wrong due to mismatched verbs.

### Conclusion

In this article, we learned about the various types of Question tags as per the Primary 5 English level.

• Pair a positive and a negative

It is about the verb and not the tone.

• Contractions are often used

Acronyms are different (e.g WHO, PSLE)

Primary
Secondary
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary
Our Education Consultants will get in touch with you to offer your child a complimentary Strength Analysis.
Book a free product demo
Suitable for primary & secondary
our educational content
Start practising and learning.
No Error
No Error
*By submitting your phone number, we have
your permission to contact you regarding
Let’s get learning!
resources now.
Error
Oops! Something went wrong.
Let’s refresh the page!
Turn your child's weaknesses into strengths
Turn your child's weaknesses into strengths
Trusted by over 220,000 students.

Error
Oops! Something went wrong.
Let’s refresh the page!
Error
Oops! Something went wrong.
Let’s refresh the page!