How to Answer Tag Questions with Examples

How to Answer Tag Questions with Examples

Hello there! If you take a look at my posts lately, they have been around issues of questions in English. I have discussed Wh Questions, Types of Questions in English, Tag Questions and now following up on Tag Questions, I wish to show you How to Answer Tag Questions with Examples. Many users of English of get it wrong when it comes to answering tag question. So how do we appropriately answer tag questions? Let’s dig in and see, shall we?

How to Answer Tag Questions with Examples

It would just an appropriate thing to takes a look at the post Tag Questions in English, if you have not already done so. It would give you a good background to this post, How to Answer Tag Questions with Examples.  As easy as you might think answering tag questions look, many people still answer tag questions wrongly. Sometimes, we answer yes or no (See Types of Questions in English) to tag questions and at other times, we repeat the tag and reverse it as we have in:

  • She is careless, isn’t she? Yes, she is.
  • He shouldn’t be here today, should he? No, he should not.

In order to correctly answer a tag question, you must first ask if you agree with the statement or not. If you agree with the statement, it must show in the way you answer that you agree. Now, if the statement contains a negative, and you agree, your answer should contain a negative, that is ‘no’. However, if the statement is positive and you do agree with it, your answer must begin with ‘yes’. It is wrong and ungrammatical to begin your answer to a tag question with ‘yes’ and then add negation or begin your answer with ‘no’ and then add a positive statement. Let me demonstrate this to you:

  • *We are not all stupid, are we? Yes, we aren’t!

Positive Answers Take Positive Tags and Vice Versa

Remember that any sentence that is asterisked in English is ungrammatical. The above answer is wrong because it is incongruous: positive with a negative. Back to what we said earlier, if you agree with the statement, your answer must reflect the agreement, bearing in mind whether the sentence is positive or negative.

There are two correct possible answers to this statement and they are:

A. We are not all stupid, are we? Yes, we are!

B. We are not all stupid, are we? No, we aren’t!

The answer in A disagrees with the statement while the answer in B agrees with the statement. I hope you understand this. The advice is that you should answer a tag question based on the truth of the situation in which your answer shows the real facts and not necessarily the question. Let us take some more examples:

Examples of How to Answer Tag Questions

  • The sun is the centre of the solar system, isn’t it? Yes, it is.
  • Snow usually falls in Nigeria, doesn’t it? No, it doesn’t!
  • Roses aren’t always red, are they? No, they aren’t.
  • The earth revolves round the sun, doesn’t it? Yes, it does.
  • The earth doesn’t rotate on its axis, does it? Yes, it does.
  • Nigerians don’t like football, do they? Yes, they do!
  • Eagles live underground, don’t they? No, they don’t!
  • Mercury isn’t liquid metal, is it? Yes, it is!
  • The consonant sounds in English aren’t 26, are they? No, they are not.
  • Humans should not live by bread alone, should they? No, they shouldn’t!




Do You Mind?

In addition, users of English as a second language often make mistakes in answering the following questions:

  • Do you mind a cup of tea?
  • Do you care for a plate of rice?

What most people reply is often the opposite of what they mean. Have you found yourself in such situation before, when you really wanted a cup of tea and you answered ‘Yes, I do’ and you did not get a cup of tea? How awkward!

Do you Care?

In another vein, has someone asked you if you cared for a plate of rice and you said ‘No, I don’t’ and the individual passed the plate of rice over you? How did you feel? You felt the individual did not understand simple English; Poor you! It was you who gave the wrong answer!

So when next you do come across these ‘do you mind…’ and ‘do you care…’ questions, how do you tackle them? It is simple! When you say you mind something, then it means it is a bother to you, it is somewhat a problem to you and, in effect, you are saying, ‘no’ you don’t want it! But if you do not mind, then, it means you want it and it is not a bother to you and you are saying ‘yes, give it to me!’

How to Get $1000 Right Now

Given the foregoing, do you mind if I give you a thousand dollars? If you don’t, then send this post to or share with a thousand people and a thousand dollars will be in your account! Don’t ask me how that will be! Do it first. However, if you do mind getting a thousand dollars, then tell someone else to share this post with a thousand people and a thousand dollars will be in their accounts! ‘Awesome’! Did I hear you say?

Unlike ‘do you mind question’ if you care for something, it means you want it and you are saying: ‘yes, give it to me!’ On the other hand, if you do not want it, you simply respond: ‘no, I don’t care’.

Recap

To recap all I have said so far, let me use this four sentences to buttress the point I am making:

  • Do you mind a slice of pizza? No, I don’t. (It means you want a slice of pizza)
  • Do you mind a bottle of Coke? Yes, I do. (You are saying you don’t want it)
  • Allen, do you care for a drink? No, I don’t. (It means Allen does not want a drink)
  • Eugene, do you care for a chocolate? Yes, of course, I do! (Eugene really wants a bite of chocolate)

Are you confused? No, you are not! Am I sure? Yes I am! Will you share this post? Yes you will! Is it possible to ask questions or send in my comments? Yes, of course, it is! See you around!

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