One should study hard.

What is the question tag for the sentence?

Should I use they , he, or one?

  • 3
    Sorry, was confusing question tag with the tags for questions on SE. You'd use one: "One should study hard, shouldn't one?" Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 11:36
  • Can i use he or they
    – Salah Mohammed Salah
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 11:44
  • 2
    If you're going to use this very dated style, you'd better go the whole hog with 'shouldn't one?' But real people say 'Students (etc) should study hard, shouldn't they?' Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 12:07
  • AE: Nobody I know would ever use "One should..." in this way. It sounds weird to the point of being wrong. More's a pity: some other languages you wouldn't have to specify who you're referring to.
    – D_Bester
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 16:51

3 Answers 3


One should study hard, shouldn't one? One can be used as a subject of question tag because it is a personal pronoun and can refer to the subject one.

One should do one's duty.


One should study hard is antiquated (old-fashioned) but the grammar is good. Depending on the context you are writing in, you could say any of the options you suggested.

Use 'You should study hard.' if you are addressing one person in particular. Use 'He should study hard.' if you are talking about one person to another. Use 'One should study hard.' if you are being formal.

Be aware that some people would view the use of 'One' as too formal, and it is often associated with Upper Class Britain, and the Royal Family!

  • 1
    The OP is asking about tag questions, that is, how the create a matching tag question for the statement in their example. They were not asking if they should change the initial statement.
    – Lucky
    Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 20:16
  • 1
    Note that the word "antiquated" has negative connotations which aren't necessarily appropriate here. Commented Apr 29, 2016 at 22:58

"Shouldn't they?"

"one" is treated as an indefinate pronoun in the question tag

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