In the question, 'Those books belong to Rohan's brother, (question tag)?' Can we use 'aren't they' in this instead of 'don't they' as 'belong' here is not an action verb that's why I think that we can't use any form of 'do' here. Am I right?

1 Answer 1


You must use 'don't they?' if the tag relates to the verb 'belong'. The fact that 'belong' is a state verb, not an action verb, does not change this. 'Belong' is neither an auxiliary verb nor a modal verb, and thus the tag requires use of the verb 'do'.

Question tags

  • In some dialects of English (but not in standard formal English, IMO) you can say "these books are belonging to him" instead of "these books belong to him". If that form is acceptable then presumably "These books are belonging to him, aren't they" would also be acceptable in the same dialect, but it is definitely not standard English!
    – alephzero
    Feb 23, 2019 at 17:26
  • Using the present continuous (present progressive) tense like that is common in (for example) Indian English, but is considered incorrect in formal and informal American and British English. It is called an "Indianism" by more careful Indian speakers. Feb 23, 2019 at 19:24

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