She thinks that he's on a diet, ______?

Can anyone tell me which question tag best fills in the above blank? Should it be "doesn't she?", or "isn't he?"

I'd like to stick to the usual affirmative-negative form (or vice-versa) of tag for my middle school students, who just began to learn the basic rules of this grammar. Therefore, should the tag refer to the main (hence, doesn't she?) or subordinate clause (isn't he?).

I have a feeling that, in terms of question tags, the case of You/She/He thinks should differ from that of I think, because it doesn't seem to make sense to ask others if you think in a certain way. Am I also right about this?

  • Probably differs US/UK also.
    – GEdgar
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:19
  • I have closevoted. Wanna know why? Because I think @AndyT's comment is spot-on, don't I? Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:23
  • 1
    Andy, please trim your question and try to make it clearer and more succinct. Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:29
  • 2
    Tags can be based on subordinate clauses, but they are highly restricted, e.g. I think it's legal, isn't it?; It seems we made a mistake, didn't we?; It follows that we won't have to pay any more, will we?
    – BillJ
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:50
  • 2
    With all due respect to Josh Friedlander, but he's been a member of this community for less than two months. On EL&U, the top brass value questions that shares it research, and the thought process leading to those questions. Brevity seems to be highly regarded in computer programming circles, at least that's my impression, but it usually makes for poorer questions on EL&U.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 5:59

1 Answer 1


The best tag to fill in the blank is "doesn't she?". "Isn't he" does not make sense in this context.

“She thinks that he's on a diet, doesn't she?”

The logic behind this answer is that it coincides with the beginning of the sentence.

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