I am teaching a student English and the below question was in his test paper. I intuitively feel that both options one and two are not incorrect, but his answer key states that option one is the correct one. Which is the correct one and why?


"Tom gave up looking just as I said he would, _____?" Geetha asked.
(1) didn't he
(2) hasn't he
(3) hadn't he
(4) wouldn't he

  • 'Hasn't he' would only work if the sentence began 'Tom has given up looking'. Sep 7, 2020 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


The verb in a tag question is a callback to whatever verb was previously used, implied, or what would fit.

For example:

He went, didn't he?

"Went" is the past tense of to go, so he did go, therefore you would ask "didn't he?"

In your example, it says "Tom gave up". As "gave" is the past tense of to give, Tom did give up, so "didn't" is the correct verb contraction to use in your tag question.

Note that, should it have said "Tom has given up", the correct choice would have been "hasn't he?"

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