Do or Does: Which is Correct? (2023)

The verb “do” is among the most common English verbs, and like most verbs we use a lot, it’s irregular. “Do” and “does” are both forms of the verb “do” in the simple present, so which is correct, “do” or “does?”

When you talk about yourself, you should say, “I do” as in “I do the dishes,” not “I does the dishes.” Even though the verb “do” is irregular, it still follows the rule that a present tense verb, in the third-person singular, needs an “s” at the end. For example, “I eat” and “he eats.” Like other verbs, “do” gets an “s” in the third-person singular, but we spell it with “es” — “does.”

Let’s take a closer look at how “do” and “does” are different and when to use each one. We’ll also talk about how to make negative sentences and questions with “do” and “does,” and we’ll even check out some common phrasal verbs and expressions that use “do.”

Do Is a Verb: What Does It Mean?

“Do” and “does” are action verbs, and we use them to describe an activity in the present tense (source). Remember that we use the simple present tense to talk about habits or activities that happen consistently over time.

Is It “I Do” or “I Does”?

Say “I do” when you are talking about work or an activity you are performing yourself. Here are some examples:

  • I always do my homework before dinner.
  • I do the dishes after we eat.

You only need to use the word “does” when you use the third-person singular to talk about another person or thing (source). Look at these sentences:

  • He always does his homework before dinner.
  • She does the dishes after we eat.
  • That car does well in the snow.

Can We Use “Do” with “I”?

As we’ve learned from the previous examples, you can use “do” with “I.” Bearing that in mind, which of these sentences is correct?

  • I do all my chores on Saturday.
  • I does all my chores on Saturday.

If you chose the first sentence, you’re correct! Remember, we need “do” when the subject is “I.”

Can We Use “Does” with “I”?

This also raises the question of whether we can use “does” with “I.” Simply put, no, you cannot use “does” with “I.” Consider the next examples. Which sentence is correct?

  • I does it as many times as it takes.
  • I do it as many times as it takes.

The second sentence is correct. Remember, the third-person singular is the only subject that uses “does.” You can say, “He does it as many times as it takes,” but you cannot say, “I does it as many times as it takes.”

“Does” and “Do” Chart

Here’s an easy chart to help you remember when to use “does” or “do.”

Personal PronounDo/Does
Ido
You (singular)do
He/She/Itdoes
Wedo
You (plural)do
Theydo

As you can see from the chart, you should always use “do” in the simple present tense when you are talking about anyone except he, she, or it. For those subjects, you need “does.”

(Video) Correct Use of DO / DOES / DID - Basic English Grammar - with Examples, Exercises & Quiz

Do or Does Singular

For proper subject-verb agreement, the singular subjects “I” and “you” need the word “do.” To describe how singular subjects “he,” “she,” or “it” complete an action, you will need to use the word “does.”

  • I do my best.
  • You do my hair exactly how I like it.
  • She does everything with a smile.

Of course, if you are using someone’s name or the name of an “it,” you’ll also use “does.”

  • Mr. Garcia does car repair from his shop.
  • This printer also does color, as well as black and white.

Do or Does Plural

In contrast, for proper subject-verb agreement, you should use “do” with all plural subjects, like “we,” “they,” or the plural “you.”

  • We do the laundry every week.
  • They do their jobs well.
  • You do your best all the time.
  • They do volunteer work at the library.

“Does” and “Do” Examples

Now you try! Look at these sentences and decide if you should use “do” or does.”

1. Mr. and Mrs. Lee always _____ what they say.

2. You guys ______ that project, and we can _____ this one. (you → plural)

3. The horse ______ laps around the track.

4. I _____ the sewing by hand.

5. You and I ______ whatever we want.

6. You _____ a good job when you cook. (you → singular)

7. I _____my work from home now.

Here are the answers. How did you do?

(Video) How & When to Use Do, Does and Did | Correct Use of Do / Does / Did - ChetChat English Grammar Tips

1. do

2. do, do

3. does

4. do

5. do

6. do

7. do

Using Do and Does With Various Sentence Structures

Do or Does: Which is Correct? (1)

There are many different ways to use the verbs “do” and “does,” whether as main verbs or helping verbs. In this section, we’ll review the main applications for both.

Do and Does in a Positive Sentence for Emphasis

Occasionally, we can use “do” and “does” as helping verbs. However, this isn’t very common in positive sentences unless you want to give extra emphasis to the sentence’s main verb. You will still use “does” with the third-person singular and “do” with all other personal pronouns.

Here are some examples of how either “do” or “does” can provide emphasis for your main verb:

  • I do want to go; please call me! (You do not think I want to go)
  • He does like pickles on his sandwich. (You thought he did not like them.)
  • Sally and Harry do want to get married; they just don’t know when.

Making Negative Sentences With Do and Does

We also use “do” and “does” as helping verbs in negative sentences if the main verb is not “be.” Just add the adverb “not” after the helping verb “do” or “does,” then use your main verb. You will still use “does” for “he,” “she,” and “it” and “do” for all other personal pronouns. Consider the following examples:

(Video) Restless Heart - Why Does It Have to Be (Wrong or Right)

  • I do not want to go.
  • You do not need to help me.
  • Marla does not eat meat.
  • We do not exercise on Fridays.
  • You (plural) do not use plastic forks.
  • They do not think it will happen.

Any of these sentences are fine. However, it’s much more common to make a contraction with “not,” especially when you are speaking. Simply combine “do” or “does” with “not” into one word, and then replace the “o” in “not” with an apostrophe.

  • I don’t want to go.
  • You don’t need to help me.
  • Marla doesn’t eat meat.
  • We don’t exercise on Fridays.
  • You don’t use plastic forks.
  • They don’t think it will happen.

Making Questions With Do and Does

A very common way to ask questions in English is by using “do” and “does” as helping verbs. Use them when you are asking a question that needs a “yes” or “no” answer.

The rule for when to use “do” and “does” is still the same. You need to use “does” with “he,” “she,” or “it” and “do” with “I” and all other personal pronouns (source). Here are some examples:

  • Do you like chocolate ice cream?
  • Does he need help?
  • Do they make a lot of money?
  • Do we have a meeting today?

The answer to all of these questions can be a simple yes or no. If you need a longer answer to a question, you can add a question word — who, what, where, when, why, how, which — before “do” or “does.”

  • Why does he always arrive late?
  • How do you spell that?
  • What do I use to clean this?
  • Who do they live with?

However, there are times you do not need to use “do” and “does” when you ask a question. We’ve already talked about one — when your main verb is a form of “be.” Here are two more:

  1. When your main verb is a compound verb, like “are going.”
  2. When you use a modal verb, like “can,” should,” have,” etc.

Making Negative Questions With “Do” and “Does”

To make negative questions, you should use the contractions “don’t” and “doesn’t.” It’s very rare to form a negative question by saying or spelling “do not” or “does not.” Instead, just put these contractions at the beginning of the sentence, before the subject. These questions only need a “yes” or “no” answer.

  • Don’t I look pretty?
  • Doesn’t that dog need a bath?
  • Don’t we have a meeting today?

Do and Does Can Substitute for Other Verbs

If your listener knows what action you are talking about, you can also follow “do” and “does” with the pronoun “it.”

  • We do it every week. (the laundry.)
  • He never does it until the weekend. (his homework.)
  • They do it with love. (their cooking)
  • This machine does it better. (the function of the machine you are talking about)

Speaking of pronouns, be aware that it’s not a good idea to directly follow “do” or “does” with a pronoun that refers to a person, like “him,” “her,” or “us.” Sentences like that are either so casual that they sound uneducated, or they can refer in a derogatory way to activities that you wouldn’t talk about in normal conversation.

However, you can use possessive pronouns, like “my” and “her,” followed by a noun.

  • I do her hair every morning.
  • Does Mr. Smith do your yard three times a week?

Other Ways to Use Do and Does

You can also use “do” and “does” with indefinite pronouns like “everything” and “nothing” to talk about activities.

  • I do everything around the house.
  • She does nothing unless someone asks her.

And finally, you can use “do” and “does” with an adverb to describe how you performed that activity.

  • They do their jobs well.
  • Matthew does his homework quickly.

Pronouncing Do and Does

“Do” and “does” also have irregular pronunciation, but don’t worry! Once you learn how to say them, they are easy to remember. The following pronunciation guides use Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (source) and IPA symbols to help you (source).

(Video) Correct Use of Do/Does/Did in English Speaking || Basic English Grammar || English Sadhana

VerbMWCDIPAExample
Do\ˈdü\/duː/Pronounce “do” like you pronounce “you” or “two.”
Does\ˈdəz\/dʌz/Pronounce “does” as you pronounce “was” or the second syllable of “be-cause.”

Some Useful Idioms and Phrasal Verbs With “Do”

Since we use “do” and “does” a lot, there are also many expressions and idioms that use these two words (source). Here are a few:

Do (someone) a favor → to do a kind or helpful act for someone:

  • Molly, would you do me a favor and help me move these boxes?

Do business → to sell or buy from:

  • That deal sounds good; can we do business?

Do you good → a good thing that will help you:

  • Take this medicine; it does you good.

Do a number on → to hurt or harm someone or something:

  • The puppy does a number on my shoes.

Do-over → a second try to accomplish a task that was previously unsuccessful:

  • Can I have a do-over?

Do the trick → to produce the desired result:

  • I fixed the picture frame with a nail; that should do the trick.

Do you read me → this is serious; it is important that you do as I say:

  • Jonathan, do not play in the street. Do you read me?
Do or Does: Which is Correct? (2)

How to Answer “How Are You Doing?”

Finally, what should you say when someone asks you, “How are you doing?” You can’t answer this with the present tense “I do.” Instead, you need to use the present continuous, as they did in their question. This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.

You might answer, “I’m doing well” or “I’m doing good.” Both are correct, but they mean different things. Check out this article on the difference between “doing well” and “doing good.”

Final Thoughts

Remember, you should use “does” for the third-person singular. Use “do” for all other personal pronouns, both singular and plural. This rule applies when you use “do” as an action verb, as well as when you use it as a helping verb.

(Video) do or does? Grammar test. Choose an option. Listen to the correct answers.

The more you listen to native speakers and practice your own speaking, the more you will discover that using “do” and “does” correctly will soon become natural for you.

FAQs

Do or does short answers? ›

Short Answers with Do and Does
Sample QuestionsShort Answer (Affirmative)Short Answer (Negative)
Do you both speak English?Yes, we do.No, we don't.
Do they need help?Yes, they do.No, they don't.
Does he like chocolate?Yes, he does.No, he doesn't.
Does she want to come?Yes, she does.No, she doesn't.
3 more rows

Which is correct do or does? ›

⚡ Quick summary. Do is an irregular verb, which means that it has different forms depending on tense and the subject it's being used with. Both do and does are used for the present tense. The form does is only used with third person singular subjects, such as the pronouns he, she, and it, as in She does yoga.

Does and do questions and answers? ›

Short Answers with Do and Does
Sample QuestionsShort Answer (Affirmative)Short Answer (Negative)
Do I need a dictionary?Yes, you do.No, you don't.
Do you both speak English?Yes, we do.No, we don't.
Do they speak English?Yes, they do.No, they don't.
Does he speak English?Yes, he does.No, he doesn't.
3 more rows

What is the rule for do and does? ›

We use does and is with third person singular pronouns (he, she, it) and with singular noun forms. We use do and are with other personal pronouns (you, we they) and with plural noun forms.

Does anybody know or do anybody know? ›

Answer: DOES is correct.

Is the word do singular or plural? ›

Differences Between Do and Does

Second, “do” is used for plural subjects and first-person subjects, while “does” is used for singular, third-person subjects.

What do or does have in common? ›

We would say she does but we would say they do. So do is the plural verb. Therefore, the answer is, “What do Gloria and I have in common?

What is the difference between do did and does? ›

Do and does represents the simple present forms of the verb 'do', while did is its simple past form. These are primarily used to form negative and interrogative sentences. Do is used with personal pronouns, I, we, you, they. On the other hand, does is used with personal pronouns he, she and it.

Does and do past? ›

It has five different forms: do, does, doing, did, done. The base form of the verb is do. The past simple form, did, is the same throughout.

Do or does question exercises? ›

Do you need help?
  • Does. Peter live with his father?
  • Does. you learn Spanish?
  • Does. Andrew and Martin ride their bikes to school?
  • Does. they play in the garden?
  • Does. Sandy's hamster live in a cage?
  • Does. the cats sit on the wall?
  • Does. we work in front of the computer?
  • Does. you play the drums?

Do DOES did simple questions? ›

Answers
  • Do you know where he is going?
  • Does she understand the importance of working hard?
  • Do they hold all-night parties?
  • Where do they live?
  • How do you operate this washing machine?
  • What did you do then?
  • I did not know that I was playing with fire.
  • Did she say anything when you told her that you were leaving?
May 22, 2016

Which verb form is used with does? ›

We use do, does (present simple) or did (past simple) to give extra force to the main verb. We use the infinitive of the main verb without to, and stress do/does/did when speaking.
...
Emphatic forms.
neutralemphatic
She looks so tired.She does look so tired!
2 more rows
Jan 11, 2023

What is third form of do? ›

The forms of to do are do (base), does (third-person singular), did (past tense), done (past participle), and doing (present participle). Person. Present.

Does she have or does she has grammar? ›

Have is used with the pronouns I, you, we, and they. Has is used with he, she, and it. Have and has can indicate possession.

Does anyone want or wants? ›

Anyone wants…” is the proper form for a statement, for example, “Anyone wants to be loved.” “Anyone” is considered a singular subject and therefore requires the verb form “wants” to be in agreement. Although the sentence “Anyone wants a drink” makes little sense, it's grammatically well formed.

Do Or does everyone? ›

For example, should it be “do everyone” or “does everyone”? “Does everyone” is correct. The word “everyone” and other words like it are actually singular.

Do someone know or does someone know? ›

"Any one" is a pronoun and is singular.As a third person singular noun ,the question sentence should start with the auxiliary verb "does". So the correct answer is "Does anyone know"?

Do or does grammar in a question? ›

In questions, “do” or “does” usually starts the sentence, but it doesn't have to. For a simple interrogative sentence, or question, “do” or “does” is typically followed by the subject, and then the conjugated verb. Questions with “do” or “does” as the first word usually elicit a “yes” or “no” answer.

Do or does in question tag? ›

If the main clause has an auxiliary verb in it, you use the same verb in the tag question. If there is no auxiliary verb (in the present simple and past simple) use do / does / did (just like when you make a normal question).

Does or do the family? ›

The answer is "does" because the members of the family are combined semantically into one family, thus a singular subject matched by a singular verb.

What does she do how to answer? ›

03. What does she do? Ans.
  1. What does she always mean what is her job?
  2. In another way the question, " what does she do ? " can be ashed as " what is her activity?"
  3. The expected answers to this question can be :
  4. She is doing the lighting for her sister's birthday party.
  5. (Study ) She is doing a Diploma in Psychology.
Jan 19, 2022

What does semicolon do? ›

Use a semicolon to join two related independent clauses in place of a comma and a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet). Make sure when you use the semicolon that the connection between the two independent clauses is clear without the coordinating conjunction.

What is the difference between don t and doesn t? ›

Both don't and doesn't are contractions. Don't is a contraction of do not, while doesn't is a contraction of does not, and they both act as auxiliary verbs. In English, don't is used when speaking in the first and second person plural and singular and the third person plural ("I," "you," "we," and "they").

What is past tense for do? ›

TO DO - Past Tense - (Did)

I did my homework in record time.

Did you know or do you know which is correct? ›

The main difference is that you use "did you know" when you already know the information that follows and you use "do you know" when you do not know the information that follows, but you want to know.

What is the future tense of do? ›

I will/shall do. You/We/They will/shall do. He/She/It will/shall be doing. I will/shall be doing.

Do & does not? ›

DO / DON'T / DOES / DOESN'T are simple present tense form of the verb "to do". DON'T (do not) is the negative form of DO while DOESN'T (does not) is the negative form of DOES. The tiny difference is: - Use DOES / DOESN'T if the subject is third-person singular (he, she, it).

Do and does for primary? ›

We use 'do' and 'does' when asking a question in a positive manner. We use 'do' when the subject is I, you, we or they. We use 'does' when the subject is, he, she or it.

Do we use present tense with did? ›

The auxiliary verb (did) is marked for past tense, but the main verb is not. It appears in its base form.

What is the past tense of drunk? ›

Drank and drunk are forms of the irregular verb drink. Drank is the past tense form, as in I drank two glasses of water last night. Drunk is the past participle, as in She had drunk three cups of coffee before 9 a.m. The word drunk is also commonly used as an adjective meaning “intoxicated by alcohol.”

Which is the past tense of has? ›

Thank you for asking this question. As a main verb, use have/has for the present tense and had for the past tense, as shown in these examples: I have a muffin and a cup of coffee. Yesterday I had a piece of toast and a cup of tea.

What is the noun form of do? ›

doing (noun) do–it–yourself (adjective) done. done (adjective)

What is the short form of do? ›

Definition of 'D/O'

▶ USAGE The abbreviation for delivery order is D/O or d.o.

Has he eaten or have he eaten? ›

Since the perfect tenses always use the past participle, the correct choice is eaten, as in I have eaten too much (not I have ate too much). For example: Present perfect: I have eaten at this restaurant. Past perfect: I had eaten at this restaurant twice before tonight.

Does he have a car or does he has a car? ›

“Does he have” is correct sentence. because with does we use have never use has. The correct form would be “does he have.” The reason is that “have” is the basic form of the verb, and your question could be answered by “he has,” since there is only one verb.

Does he have a sister or does he has a sister? ›

'He has a sister', is the sentence, 'he' and 'has' are inverted to form the question.

Do and does simple examples? ›

Examples:
  • Do you want to go to the party?
  • Does your dog live outside or in the house?
  • Does your sister always talk so much on the phone?
  • Did you catch the bus this morning?
  • Don't you ever visit your parents?
  • Didn't Mr. Albertson call you?

Does and do simple? ›

We use does for the third person singular (she/he/it) and do for the others. We use do and does with question words like where, what and when: Where do Angela and Rita live?

What does short answer mean? ›

In spoken English and informal writing, a short answer is a response made up of a subject and an auxiliary verb or modal. Short answers are brief but complete—they can answer "yes or no" questions or more complicated queries.

Which is singular does or do? ›

Differences Between Do and Does

Second, “do” is used for plural subjects and first-person subjects, while “does” is used for singular, third-person subjects.

Do and does examples negative? ›

To make a negative sentence in English we normally use don't or doesn't with all verbs except to be and modal verbs (can, might, should etc.) You speak Spanish. You don't speak Spanish.
...
Word order of interrogative with “do” and “does”
Do/DoesDo
Verbeat / like
The rest of the sentencebread for breakfast?
5 more rows

Does and do form? ›

Do is an irregular verb. Its three forms are do, did, done. The present simple third person singular is does: Will you do a job for me?

What is the verb of do? ›

The verb do is irregular. It has five different forms: do, does, doing, did, done. The base form of the verb is do. The past simple form, did, is the same throughout. The present participle is doing.

Do DOES did mean? ›

Meaning. The word 'do' is used as an action verb. Do is also used with personal pronouns. The word 'did' is the past form of the verb 'do' and is used when the action is done in the past tense.

Does Why D mean why do? ›

(nonstandard) Contraction of why did.

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