Yesterday, I asked Julian, the English teacher, what he was doing in class with the 16-year-olds.
"We’re working on question tags."
So apparently “question tags” are things you add onto the end of a sentence to emphasize your point, such as:
—You didn’t go to school today,did you?
—She’s tired today,isn’t she?
—They have a lot of money,don’t they?
—They don’t have a lot of money,do they?
And judging by that last example, question tags must be hard as hell for language learners. This got me thinking, do Americans often use question tags? I feel like we don’t very often, but maybe I’m just not paying enough attention.
Question tags seem overly British and polite, or something from The Room: “you didn’t get the promotion, did you?” I can’t remember any more question tags in The Room, but I know there must be some.
The only question tag I can think of that I often use is “right?”. Such as “you washed the dishes, right?” or, “you locked the door, right?”
Tell me what you think. I need to know about our use of question tags.