So you want to learn question tags, do you? Lucky for you, I'm here to tell you everything I know, aren't I? Ready, are you? Let's go!
BBC Masterclass: Question Tags
Now, at this level, many of you will know that a question tag is an auxiliary verb plus a pronoun, which is put at the end of a sentence either to ask for more information about something or to confirm something which we believe is true. The question tag relates directly to the sentence. The auxiliary verb matches the main verb, and the pronoun comes directly from the noun. Question tags can either have a rising or falling intonation. And as everybody knows, if the main sentence is affirmative, then the question tag is negative, so "You do live here, don't you?" and vice versa. That's the easy stuff. Now for the hard stuff.
Negative Adverbs and Indefinite Nouns
So, sentences which use a negative or limiting adverbs, such as "never" and "hardly" and other words of that type, even though they appear to be positive in construction, they're treated as a negative by the question tag, so not "They never go on holiday, don't they?" but "They never go on holiday, do they?"
那麼，用到否定或限制性副詞的句子，像是 never(從不)和 hardly(幾乎不)還有其它那類字詞，即便它們在結構上看起來是肯定句，它們都被附加問句視為否定對待，所以不是「他們從不去度假，不是吧？」而是「他們從不去度假，是吧？」
Sentences which use indefinite nouns, such as "someone," "anyone," "no one," and "everyone," can be tricky with question tags. After all, what's the pronoun for "no one"? In question tags, we use "they." For example, "No one cares, do they?" or "Everyone left, didn't they?" However, with other indefinite nouns, such as "something" and "everything," we would use "it." So, for example, "Everything's okay, isn't it?" or "Nothing matters, does it?" Got it?
使用不定名詞的句子，像是 someone(某人)、anyone(任何人)、no one(沒有人)還有 everyone(所有人)，這種句子造附加問句時可能有點難應付。畢竟，no one(沒有人)的代名詞是什麼呢？在附加問句中，我們用 they(他們)。舉例來說，「沒人在意，對吧？」或是「大家都離開了，是吧？」然而，使用其它不定名詞時，像是 something(某事物)和 everything(一切事物)，我們就會用 it(它)。那麼，舉例來說，「一切都還好，對吧？」或是「什麼都不重要，是吧？」懂了嗎？
Imperatives and Suggestions
An imperative is a command, or at least a strong suggestion. An example would be "Sit down!" Now, because imperatives don't have a tense, they don't use an auxiliary verb in the same way as other sentences do. So how can we make a question tag with them? Well, the answer is we use "won't you?"—although other modal verbs can be used, such as "will," "would," "can," and "could." "Sit down, won't you?" "Open the window, will you?" "Don't go outside, will you?" "Keep quiet, won't you?" The level of formality depends upon the choice of question tag and the tone of voice, although "can't you?" can come across as quite impatient and annoying. For example, "Turn the TV down, can't you?"
祈使句是個命令，或至少是個強烈的建議。舉一個例子來說會是「坐下!」現在，因為祈使句並沒有時態，它們和其它句子用助動詞的方式不一樣。那我們該怎麼用祈使句造附加問句呢？嗯，答案是我們會使用「won't you?」－－雖然也可以用其它情態動詞，例如 will、would、can 以及 could。「坐下，好嗎？」「打開窗戶，好嗎？」「別去外面，好嗎？」「安靜，好嗎？」句子的正式程度取決於附加問句的選擇以及語氣，不過「can't you?」會顯得滿不耐煩而且讓人討厭。舉例來說，「把電視音量關小聲，可以嗎？」
When making a suggestion, it's common to use the expression "let's." "Let's" stands for "let us"—for example, "Let's go to the cinema." When we use "let's" in a question tag, we always use "shall we?" regardless of whether "let's" is affirmative or negative. So, for example, "Let's go to the cinema, shall we?" or "Let's not go to the cinema, shall we?" Got it?
當提出建議時，很常用 let's(讓我們)這種說法。Let's 代表 let us－－舉例來說，「我們來去電影院吧。」當我們在附加問句中用 let's 時，我們總是會用「shall we?」不管 let's 是肯定還是否定句。那麼，舉例來說，「我們來去電影院，好嗎？」或「我們別去電影院，好嗎？」懂了嗎？
Double Positives and Opinions
Double positives are possible. And this is quite a common way of reacting when people have just learned news, or when somebody is reacting in an emotional way to something. For example, "You're getting married, are you?" or "Oh, you just lost your wallet, did you?" You see?
Finally, if you start a sentence with "I think," don't use the question tag "do I?" "I think he's a great teacher, do I?" Though this can happen in some cases, such as sarcasm, we normally make the question tag agree with the main information. Otherwise, we're basically asking ourself to agree with ourself. So, for example, "I think he's a great teacher, isn't he?" or "I don't think that's a good idea, is it?" Got it?
最後，如果你用 I think(我覺得)來當句首，不要用「do I?」當附加問句。「我覺得他是個很棒的老師，我覺得吧？」雖然這在一些情況下可能會發生，像是嘲諷挖苦時，我們通常會讓附加問句和主要訊息一致。不然的話，我們基本上就是在叫自己同意自己。那麼，舉個例子，「我覺得他是個很棒的老師，是吧？」或「我不覺得那是個好主意，是吧？」懂了嗎？
For more information, go to bbclearningenglish.com. I've been Dan, haven't I? You've been fantastic, haven't you? And I'll see you next time, won't I? Cheerio!
想知道更多訊息，就到 bbclearningenglish.com。我是 Dan，是吧？你超棒的，對吧？我們下次見，會吧？再見!
- 「畢竟」- After All
After all, what's the pronoun for "no one"?
- 「至少」- At Least
An imperative is a command, or at least a strong suggestion.
- 「取決於、視...而定」- Depend Upon
The level of formality depends upon the choice of question tag and the tone of voice...
- 「給人...的印象」- Come Across As
...although "can't you?" can come across as quite impatient and annoying.
- 「代表」- Stand For
"Let's" stands for "let us"—for example, "Let's go to the cinema."
Let's 代表 let us－－舉例來說，「我們來去電影院吧。」
- 「吻合、一致」- Agree With
Though this can happen in some cases, such as sarcasm, we normally make the question tag agree with the main information.