Question tags can be confusing, but there is a trick to making them easier.

flowers

The flowers are yellow, aren't they?
The flowers aren't yellow, are they?

Trick - These are really the same question. Create a new question that ignores the question tag and the negative. Is the answer to this question YES or NO?

Are the flowers yellow?

NO

After the comma, begin a true statement that echos the question.

No, they aren't [yellow].

Practice - The box will turn green when you enter the correct answer.

couple-cooking

  1. She has blond hair, doesn't she?)
    a. Yes, she does. b. No, she doesn't.
  2. He's wearing a black shirt, isn't he?
    a. Yes, he is. b. No, he isn't.
  3. They're cleaning the house, aren't they?
    a. Yes, they are. b. No, they aren't.
No. They are cooking*.

*The period shows that the second sentence is providing additional information.


4. They aren't cleaning the house, are they?
a. Yes, they are. b. No, they aren't.

Yes. They are cooking*.

The "yes" would be strongly emphasized in spoken English to show agreement with the negative statement.


(According to some sources this usage is incorrect, but you will have to watch out for it in real life.)


5. They're cooking, aren't they?
a. Yes, they are. b. No, they aren't.
6. They aren't cooking, are they?
a. Yes, they are. b. No, they aren't

No. They are [cooking]*.


The "no" and "are" would be strongly emphasized in spoken English to show that you disagree with the negative statement.

(According to some sources this usage is incorrect, but you will have to watch out for it in real life.)

Additional Resources

Wikipedia - in depth
Woodward English - nice graphics
English Club - discusses replies to question tags