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  1. It's been a long time since you've seen him, HASN'T IT?

This is how I would form the question tag BUT I was told the correct form is "ISN'T IT?" and I really can't figure out why. I need to understand the reason.

  1. They've got too much luggage, HAVEN'T THEY?

This one is correct, right? I mean, I use "haven't" with "have GOT".

  1. They have too much luggage, DON'T THEY?

I use "don't" because it's just "have" here.

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Tags and tenses for your examples:

Present Perfect Example 1) It's been a long time since you've seen him, hasn't it? [right, tense: present perfect] The tag verb is has.

Two Forms of the present tense with the same exact meaning:

2) They've got too much luggage, haven't they? [right, tense: simple present] the tag verb is have.

3) They have too much luggage, don't they? [right, tense: simple present] the tag verb is do

In English, there are two forms to have (meaning possessing): to have/have got, in the present tense. for have, the auxiliary is do. for have got the auxiliary is have.

So, sentences 2) and 3) have the same meaning but different forms. Have got is typically spoken not written. You can see the tags in the examples.

Word of warning: in British English, have got can be present tense or present perfect: They've got [received] a lot of letters recently. But it is not present perfect in the sample sentence; it is simple present.

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Tag question should match the verb (is/have) if you are using isn't it or hasn't it.

It's been a long time since you've seen him, ...

The contraction in this sentence expands to:

It has been a long time since you've seen him, ...

so hasn't it is right.

It is been a long time since you've seen him, ...

This is NOT right.

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It's been a long time since you've seen him, hasn't it?

Since the tense of this sentence is present perfect, you should use "hasn't it?" as you've mentioned. (It's refers to it has)

They've got too much luggage, haven't they?

The tense of this sentence is present perfect, so you should use "haven't they?"

They have too much luggage, don't they?

"Have" is the main verb of this sentence and the tense is simple present, so you should use "don't they?"


The verb "have got" in the second sentence is in the form of present perfect. Take a look at this definition from Merriam-Webster:

a : have —used in the present perfect tense form with present meaning

or this one from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language:

16 a. To have current possession of. Used in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present

  • Thanks so much! But...when HAVE GOT means possession, do I have to use "haven't they?" or "don't they"? I think it's "haven't they?" anyway or am I wrong? – Raaffaa Aug 29 '18 at 14:42
  • @Raaffaa Although "have + got" means possession, this form of the verb is present perfect. Take a look at this definition from merriam-webster: "a : have —used in the present perfect tense form with present meaning" or this one from American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: "a. To have current possession of. Used in the present perfect form with the meaning of the present" – helen Aug 29 '18 at 15:04
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    @Lambie He had asked the question before your answer! – helen Aug 29 '18 at 20:44

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