I can have a cookie, can't I?

What is this type of question called?

Also, is it grammatically correct under American English?

  • 1
    I don't know what it's called, but it is a common (and grammatically correct) formulation of the question. It's kind of asking for permission, i.e. the negative "can't I" indicates the questioner doesn't want to presume. Apr 23, 2014 at 6:45

1 Answer 1


That's called a tag question.

As far as I know, it's grammatically correct in many variants of English, American English included.

A question tag or tag question (also known as tail question) is a grammatical structure in which a declarative statement or an imperative is turned into a question by adding an interrogative fragment (the "tag"). For example, in the sentence "You're John, aren't you?", the statement "You're John" is turned into a question by the tag "aren't you".

(My emphasis.)

  • 1
    Could you provide a summary from the link?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 23, 2014 at 6:53
  • Thanks. It won't let me up vote this answer unless I have 15 rep. Apr 23, 2014 at 7:05

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.