Do vs Does: How To Use Do and Does Verbs in Sentences and Questions & Worksheet
If you are new to English or a long-time speaker and wondering about how to use “do” and “does“ the right way in writing and speaking, then you have come to the right place. Once you finish reading this, you will have mastered the verb and be ready to use it confidently.
Take a look at our Do or Does Grammar Worksheet below. You can use it to practice yourself or if you are a teacher you can print it out for your students to practice their verbs in the classroom.
“Do” is a verb in English that means “to carry out an action” and is used with the pronouns -I, -you, -we, -they, -these and -those. “Does” is the same verb but used only with third-person singular subject pronouns -he, -she, -it, -this, -that or -John. “Do” and “does” are also used as auxiliary verbs for questions.
In its present tense, we use “do” and “does” by themselves to answer a question, “Yes, I do” / “Yes, she does“, and when talking about an action that is being carried out, “I do my homework every night” / “He does his homework every night”.
How to use “Do” and “Does” in a Sentence
Do and does are used before and after pronouns like ‘he’ and ‘she’. Also in possessive pronouns such as ‘mine’ and ‘his’ & demonstrative pronouns like ‘this’ and ‘that’. You will also use them between question words and pronouns, e.g. “What do you think…”. Lastly do can be used in Imperative form, but does cannot, e.g. “Do the dishes!” and never “Does the dishes!”.
Here are some uses of “do” and “does” in sentence form for you to read and say as practice:
How to use do in a sentence
- I do my best to go to school every day.
- You do whatever you want.
- We do our homework after dinner.
- They do the dishes after dessert.
- Tom and Jerry do the dishes after dinner.
- Do your homework now! (Imperative)
How to use does in a sentence
- She does her exams every Summer.
- He does a good job cleaning his room.
- It does not sound good.
- John does his laundry on Sundays.
- That does not look fun.
- This does sound good!
Using “Do” and “Does” in Questions
Using “Do” and “Does” in Negative Form
When using “do and “does” negatively, you add “not” or “n’t” after the verb.
- I do not want to go to school.
- We do not like football.
- She does not play tennis.
- Lisa does not speak French.
“Do not” and “does not” can be shortened to “don’t” and “doesn’t” by removing the space and “o” in “not”, making it faster and easier to say. “Do not” and “does not“ stay with the same pronouns as “do” and “does“.
Here are some examples of the uses of “do” and “does” for you to try:
- I do not like golf.
- We do not play video games.
- They don’t eat vegetables.
- Those don’t taste good.
- She does not speak Spanish.
- Jane does not swim at the beach.
- It doesn’t sound very good.
- This doesn’t look like a fish.
Using “Do” as an Auxiliary Verb to Make Questions
“Do“ and “does” are used very often in questions as auxiliary verbs. This means they help the main verb of the question by setting the tense of the question to the present tense.
In the first question below, “speak” is the main verb and “do” is the present tense auxiliary verb. (Note: if the question started with “did“, the question would be past tense. “Do“ makes the question the present tense).
- Do they speak English? Yes, they do. / No, they do not.
- Do you like my shoes? Yes, I do. / No, I don’t.
- Do you walk every day? I do. / I don’t. / I do not.
- Does she do laundry at the weekends? Yes, she does. / No, she doesn’t. / No, she does not.
- Does it eat fish? Yes, it does. / No, it doesn’t.
- Does John like dogs? Yes. / No.
Remember that the answers to “does” and “do” questions can often be short or yes/ no replies.
“Do“ and “do not“ (don’t) are used to form imperative sentences. “Does“ cannot be used to form an imperative sentence. Imperative sentences are in the form of commands, orders, instructions, requests and apologies. Here are some examples of how to use the verb “do” in imperative sentences:
- Do your homework! (Order)
- Do not walk on the grass. (Instruction)
- Do come to visit us when you’re in town, please. (Request)
- Don’t touch that. (Command)
- Don’t be late or you’ll miss the bus! (Warning)
- Do forgive me, I forgot it was your birthday. (Apology)
Similarities of the Verbs “Do” and “Does“
Since “does“ is just another form of “do” (they mean the same but are used with different pronouns), what “do“ they have in common?
⦁ They are both verbs/action words: What do you do after school? / What does that sign say?
⦁ They are both used with pronouns right before, and after: Do I know you? Yes, you do. / She does her homework at night / What does he do on Mondays?
⦁ They are both present tense: We do like football. / He does hate tennis.
⦁ They are both in the same position for questions and answers: Do you like golf? Yes, I do. / Does she like swimming? Yes, she does.
⦁ They can both be substitutes to the main verb to avoid repetition or when the action is obvious: How do they swim so fast in the sea? / How do they do that?
The Differences Between “Do” and “Does” Grammar
- “Do“ will only be used when talking about yourself as -I, and with plural subjects such as -you, -we, -they, -these, -those, or when talking about two or more singular subjects such as -Jane and I Example: Lisa and I do our hair before bed. / These do not look like dogs.
2. “Does” will be used when talking about singular subjects such as -she, -he, -it, -this, -that or -Jane. Example: He does swimming lessons at 6 pm. / Michael does not like dogs.
3. You can only use “do” for imperative sentences, and you cannot use “does“ because an imperative is talking to you and everyone, which is plural, and therefore we use “do“.
Read the examples below for practice:
- Do not walk on the grass! (Correct)
- Does not walk on the grass! (Incorrect)
- Don’t be late! (Correct)
- Doesn’t be late! (Incorrect)
Using “Do” as a Substitute Verb
“Do“ can be used as a substitute verb for almost any verb when trying to avoid repetition in a sentence or when the main verb is obvious making it very special.
- “If he wants to talk on the phone, he can do it in the other room”.
- “Stop eating in bed, do it in the kitchen”.
The original verbs “talk” and “eat” are replaced by “do” to make the sentence shorter and not to repeat the same phrase.
If you are talking about an action that has already been mentioned in the conversation previously or something that is happening around you at that time, then “do” and “does“ can be used to replace the verb.
Here is an example:
If you are watching a football game with your friend and the player scores an amazing goal, instead of saying:
“How does he score such amazing goals?” which is a very long and boring question. It would be best if you said, “How does he do that?”.
“Do” has replaced the verb “score” and “that” has replaced the subject “amazing goals”.
Suppose your friends are talking about travelling to every country in Europe. Instead of saying:
“How do we travel to every country in Europe?” you should say, “how do we do that?”. “
“Do“ replaces “travel” and “that” replaces “every country in Europe”.
Using “Do“ and “Does” for Emphasis
We can use “do” and “does“ in sentences to emphasise the main verb to strengthen or assert the expression or when you are trying to make a point or if someone doubts you.
Here are some examples for you to read (the first sentence is the normal expression, and the second is using “do“ and “does“ for emphasis:
- I love Lisa. / I do love Lisa.
- He uses a dictionary. / He does use a dictionary.
- Spain gets very hot in Summer. / Spain does get very hot in Summer.
- I really like ice cream. / I do really like ice cream.
- We use Facebook to chat. / We do use Facebook to chat.
Tom: I go swimming every day.
John: No, you don’t.
Tom: I do go swimming every day!
Slang Terms for “Do“ & “Does” Verbs
- An event or a party: We are going to Tom’s do tonight! / We are having a do for my birthday. (Used to replace ‘party’)
- To kill: I’m going to do him in.
- Make something better, i.e. a house: He will do it up, and it will look amazing.
- Go away (UK): Do one, or we will call the police.
- Asking for a favour (US): Do me a solid.
- Have sex/ intercourse with: They want to do each other.
“Do” vs “Does” Grammar: Dictionary Definitions
Here is a list of some links to the most popular dictionary websites with more information on “do“ and “does” verbs:
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Definition of “do” & the definition of “does”.
- Cambridge Dictionary: Definition of “do” grammar & the definition of does” grammar.
- Collins Dictionary: Definition of “do” & the definition of “does”.
Using “do” and “does” in American English and British English
There are no differences between using do and does in American English vs British English in spelling, pronunciation and meaning.
Exercises for you to practice: Do or Does Grammar Worksheet for Beginners
Do these with a friend and comment on the answers below, and show us how well you know the verbs “do“ vs “does“ after reading this article. (Answers are at the end)
- How many sit-ups can you _____? ( do / does )
- _____ I speak Spanish? ( Do / Does )
- _____ you know how to play football? ( Do / Does )
- Do you like India? Yes, I _____. ( do / does )
- _____ John like sushi? Yes, he does. ( Do / Does )
- Does this smell bad? Yes, it _____. ( do / does )
- I do my English lessons at the weekend and Lisa _____ her lessons on Mondays. ( do / does )
- Does Jerry like dogs? Yes, he _____. ( does / doesn’t )
- Lisa and I _____ our homework at 5 o’clock. ( do / does )
- These _____ not look very good. ( do / does )
- This _____ not sound like a good idea. ( do / does )
- _____ not walk on the grass! ( Do / Does )
- “You don’t use chopsticks when you eat rice?” “I _____ use chopsticks!” ( do / does )
- If she _____ her homework she can watch TV. ( do / does )
- What will we _____ tonight, Tom? ( do / does )
- _____ anyone know what time it is? ( Do vs Does )
- When _____ he want to go to the cinema? ( do / does )
- Do you want ice cream? No, I _____ . ( don’t / doesn’t )
- _____ she like rock music? No, she doesn’t. ( Do / Does )
- Do you think the exam will be hard? No, I _____. ( do not / does not )
- _____ they go to the park every day? Yes, they _____. ( Do vs Does ) + ( do vs does )
- Do they want some chocolate? No, they _____. ( do / don’t )
- _____ Sarah like to play football? No, she _____. ( Does / Do ) + ( Does / Doesn’t )
- _____ they come from the USA? No, they _____. They come from Canada. ( Do / Does ) + ( doesn’t / don’t )
- What time _____ Tom want to go to the cinema? ( does / doesn’t )
Let us know how you did in the Do or Does Grammar Worksheet!
A Song About Do and Does Grammar for Teachers
How to teach do vs does to kids
If you are a teacher or parent and it is time for the do vs does lesson you should begin like this:
- Start with “do” and teach the students “I do“, “You do“, We do“, and “They do“.
- Next, you should teach them “does” with “He does”, “She does”, and “It does“.
- Move to the negative form: Do not and don’t / does not and doesn’t.
- Do questions and answers. Ask them simple questions like “do you like apples?” so they can answer “Yes, I do.” or “No, I don’t.” / “Yes, he does.” or “No, she doesn’t.”
- Use flashcards and play educational videos for kids like the video above which can be very helpful when it is a song.
- Begin teaching the past tense of “do” and “does” which is “did“.
Use of Do or Does Grammar & Do and Does Rules – Recap
“Do” and “does” verbs are used in close-ended questions to get a “yes” or “no” answer.
“Do” and “does” are used as auxiliary verbs in questions.
“Do” and “does” use the negative with “not” or “n’t”.
“Does” and “do” use the imperative sentence for commands, orders, instructions and requests.
“Does” uses third-person singular pronouns
“Do” and “does” uses in slang terms often have very different meanings in the verb form.
“Do” and “does” used for emphasis will only apply when you want to assert your sentence or question.
Answers to the Do or Does Grammar Worksheet for Beginners
- How many sit-ups can you do? ( do / does )
- Do I speak Spanish? ( Do / Does )
- Do you know how to play football? ( Do / Does )
- Do you like India? Yes, I do. ( do / does )
- Does John like sushi? Yes, he does. ( Do / Does )
- Does this smell bad? Yes, it does. ( do / does )
- I do my English lessons at the weekend and Lisa does her lessons on Mondays. ( do / does )
- Does Jerry like dogs? Yes, he does. ( does/doesn’t )
- Lisa and I do our homework at 5 o’clock. ( do / does )
- These do not look very good. ( do / does )
- This does not sound like a good idea. ( do / does )
- Do not walk on the grass! ( Do / Does )
- “You don’t use chopsticks when you eat rice?” “I do use chopsticks!” ( do/does )
- If she does her homework she can watch TV. ( do / does )
- What will we do tonight, Tom? ( do / does )
- Does anyone know what time it is? ( Do vs Does )
- When does he want to go to the cinema? ( do / does )
- Do you want ice cream? No, I don’t. ( don’t / doesn’t )
- Does she like rock music? No, she doesn’t. ( Do / Does )
- Do you think the exam will be hard? No, I don’t. ( do not / does not )
- Do they go to the park every day? Yes, they do. ( Do vs Does ) + ( do vs does )
- Do they want some chocolate? No, they don’t. ( do / don’t )
- Does Sarah like to play football? No, she doesn’t. ( Does / Do ) + ( Does / Doesn’t )
- Do they come from the USA? No, they don’t. They come from Canada. ( Do / Does ) + ( doesn’t / don’t )
- What time does Tom want to go to the cinema? ( does / doesn’t )
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