Question: There has been an accident, hasn't there?

I want to Know if these tag questions are right or not.

Open the window, will you?
No body came, did they?
There has been an accident, hasn’t there?
It has been six years since we last saw eachother, has it?


Hi Manal,

Open the window, will you? Fine
Nobody came, did they? Fine
There has been an accident, hasn’t there? Ok
It has been six years since we last saw eachother, has it? No

It should be:
It has been six years since we last saw each other, hasn’t it?

Pamela’s version of your fourth sentence would be the more commonly used one. However, it is also possible to use ‘has it’ as a tag at the end of that sentence. The meaning will be different though.

Let’s assume that both sentences were spoken by John, and that John is talking to Mary:

4a. John: It has been six years since we last saw each other, hasn’t it? With this tag, John basically asks Mary to confirm what he has said. John’s tag question basically means the same thing as “Isn’t that right?”

4b. John: It has been six years since we last saw each other, has it? In this case, Mary might have just mentioned that the last time she and John were together was 6 years ago. John’s tag question acknowledges what Mary has said and also indicates that he is a bit surprised that it has been so long.

Amy, believe it or not, when I went to bed yesterday, it occured to me suddenly- why I corrected the last sentence if it was also idiomatic. :wink: I decided not to log on again thinking that Manal was training the typical models of the tags.

It so great to have you around! :wink:

All fine examples.

These too:

You’ve eaten, haven’t you? + -
You’ve eaten, have you? + +

You won’t eat it, will you? - +
Oh, you won’t eat it, won’t you! - -

I was teached all the time that if the sentence contains have the tag should be haven’t
Now I’m pretty confused.
Can you tell me how could I remember when I should use have and when haven’t at the end?


Have a look at these, esp. “statement tags”.

Tags are a type of clause without a lexical verb but which relate to the verb in the main clause of a sentence.

Tags consist of auxiliary be, do, have, lexical verb be or a modal verb and a subject (most typically a pronoun). They may have declarative or interrogative word order and may have affirmative or negative polarity.

The four main types of tag are question tags, directive tags, statement tags (also known as copy tags) and exclamation tags:

• Question tags:
She’s a teacher, isn’t she?
I haven’t shown you this, have I?
You’ve met David, have you?
• Directive tags:
Shut the door, will you.
Don’t stay out too late, will you.
• Statement tags:
I’m hungry, I am.
She was very kind, Rita was.
He’s not so tall, Jim isn’t.
• Exclamation tags:
How strange, isn’t it!
What a laugh that was, wasn’t it!

Statement tags

Declarative clauses may be followed by a tag with the same polarity and subject – verb word order. These are called statement tags or copy tags. Such sentences typically make emphatic statements, frequently in evaluative contexts:

affirmative affirmative She’s lovely, she is.
negative negative It’s not very good, that one isn’t.

They were pathetic-looking things, they were.
I’m fed up with it, I am.

The principle of same polarity operates with reduced (ellipted) clauses too:
[speakers are at a nature conservation area]

A: I don’t think we’ll see much wildlife today.
B: Not without binoculars we won’t.

[speakers are joking and engaging in word play]

A: D’you know the definition of a secret?
B: No.
A: A secret is something only one person knows.
B: Not where I work it isn’t.

Both it and that may occur as subjects in tags following main clauses with it. Main clauses with that normally have that as the subject of the tag:

It’s about this big, it is.
Ah, it was beautiful, that was.
That was the second time, that was.

Source: The Cambridge Grammar of English.


I’m sure I will use the right polarity in the future.

Regarding the gross grammatical error teached instead of taught only a short comment:

I always used teached as the past tense from teach in the past. From today onwards I will use the correct form.

Although, it won’t be easy for me to pronounce the 2 past tense differently:
taught - thought

Thanks for all of you

You’re welcome.