This fun and multifaceted writing activity includes story planning, writing an article or story for a newspaper or magazine, grammar practice in the form of writing wh-questions and yes/no questions, and also group work with students creating, producing, performing, and peer-assessing role plays based on the original stories!
Download the free worksheets below and get your students to use their imaginations on the topic of My Life Without…
Statement – usually short – plus question tag, with a question mark.
They are often used in spoken English.
In many languages (e.g. Polish) we can use the equivalent of …yes? In English we can say: yes, yeah, right (Am/E), OK, got it, understand, but the tone can be rude and confrontational/angry; too direct; English is not a direct language; it sounds like an order, and we don’t like direct orders. (In Polish, use tak for checking and no nie or nie prawda for small talk (but this sounds old fashioned – old people say this), or no tag.)
We can use any auxiliary verbs, including modal auxiliary verbs. Present simple can be confusing – you have to choose DO/DOES or BE. Also past simple: DID or WAS/WERE. We use contractions; in rhetorical speech we can say, Is it not? Were we not? etc.
It is not as common with pronoun I. I’m… aren’t I? (This is an oddity – we can’t say am not I? amn’t I? There is no contraction for am not.)
We can use them to sound sarcastic, e.g. ‘That was a great film, wasn’t it?’ My descending tone shows that I believe the opposite – it was not a great film.
They are more difficult to use than they look – because of the thought process…
The thought process of using question tags:
Realise what tense it is
e.g. They’re meeting at ten, aren’t they? (present continuous)
Realise what pronoun is used (e.g. two names become they) and match it
They … they
Is it a singular or plural subject? They = plural
Positive – negative; negative (even without not, e.g. never) – positive; do the opposite
They’re meeting… = positive, so the question tag has to be negative: …aren’t they
Match the auxiliary verb – are > aren’t
Understand the context: need info or checking/making small talk; intonation differs:
we are asking a question; we want an answer: information – voice goes up