Spanish Pronunciation – Lesson 51 – Spanish Intonation: Tag Questions
In this lesson we are going to practice the intonation of “Tag questions” in Spanish. Tag questions are brief questions which follow a statement where the speaker seeks confirmation or denial of that same 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. In Spanish we use the word “Verdad” as the tag. For example, “no vas a comer más ¿verdad?” which means “you’re not going to eat any more, are you?”. A tag question following an affirmative statement is usually in the negative. In these cases we use the word “No” as the tag. It should be noted that you can also use “verdad” as a tag questions with affirmative statements. For example, “Estás cansado, ¿no?” or “Estás cansado ¿verdad?” both mean “You’re tired, aren´t you?”
Regarding the intonation of tag questions, as the first part of the sentence is a statement, the pitch falls towards the end of the sentence, before rising again with the tag question.
Now let´s practice some tag question sentences together. If you would like to see the meaning of any sentences you are unsure of please see the lesson notes.
Listen and repeat:
Te gusta la música ¿no?: You like music, don´t you? No eres español ¿verdad?: You are not Spanish, are you? Madrid es la capital de España ¿verdad?: Madrid is the capital of Spain, isn´t it? Eres el hermano de María ¿no? You are María´s brother, aren´t you? Ustedes viven en Nueva York, ¿verdad? You live in New York, don´t you? No comes carne ¿verdad? You don´t eat meat, do you? Tienes hijos ¿no?: You have children, don´t you? Esta chaqueta es muy bonita ¿no?: This jacket is very nice, isn´t it? No te gusta ¿verdad?: You don´t like it, do you? Lola y Carlos están enfadados ¿no? Lola and Carlos are angry, aren´t they? Me entiendes ¿verdad?: You understand me, don´t you? No es muy feo ¿verdad? It is not ugly, is it? Este libro es bueno ¿no?: This book is good, isn´t it? Tus amigos son españoles ¿no?: Your friends are Spanish, aren´t they? Hablas inglés ¿verdad?: You speak English, don´t you? No te gusta el vino ¿verdad?: You don´t like wine, do you? No hablas francés ¿verdad?: You don´t speak French, do you? Eres el hijo de Patricia ¿no?: You are Patricia´s son, aren´t you? Tu madre está recuperada ¿no?: Your mother is better now, isn´t she? No viajas mucho ¿verdad?: You don´t travel a lot, do you?
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