Tag Question - Spanish Language

Grammar Glossary for Spanish Students

uninhabitable house
La casa está destruida ¿no? (The house is trashed, isn't it?). (Gail WilliamsFlickr/Creative Commons)

A tag question is a brief question that follows a statement in which the person asking is seeking confirmation or denial of the statement. In both English and Spanish, it is common to use tag questions when the person making the statement expects the listener to be in agreement. In both English and Spanish, a tag question following a negative statement is usually in the affirmative, while a tag question following a positive statement is usually in the negative.

The most common Spanish tag questions are ¿no? and ¿verdad?, with some usage of ¿no es verdad?. English question tags usually take the form exemplified by "are they?," "aren't they?," "is it?," and "isn't it?"

In both English and Spanish, a negative tag question is answered in the affirmative (such as "yes" or ) if the responder is in agreement. This is in contrast with German or French, which have special words (doch and si, respectively) for giving an affirmative answer to a question that is negative in form.

Also Known As

"Question tag" in English, coletilla interrogativa in Spanish (although the term is seldom used).

Examples of Question Tags

Tag questions are in boldface:

  • El presidente es loco ¿no? (The president is crazy, isn't he?)
  • No eres guatemalteca ¿verdad? (You're not Guatemalan, are you?)
  • Este ordenador es nuevo ¿no? (This computer is new, isn't it?)
  • No quieres comer ¿verdad? (You don't want to eat, do you?)
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    Erichsen, Gerald. "Tag Question - Spanish Language." ThoughtCo, Jun. 12, 2017, thoughtco.com/tag-question-spanish-3079457. Erichsen, Gerald. (2017, June 12). Tag Question - Spanish Language. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/tag-question-spanish-3079457 Erichsen, Gerald. "Tag Question - Spanish Language." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/tag-question-spanish-3079457 (accessed January 19, 2018).