Do or Does: Which is Correct? (2024)

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
You (singular)do
You (plural)do

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.”

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?

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:

  • 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).

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

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.

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.

Do or Does: Which is Correct? (2024)


Do or does short answers? ›

Short Answers with Do and Does
Sample QuestionsShort Answer (Affirmative)Short Answer (Negative)
Do you need a dictionary?Yes, I do.No, I don't.
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.
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.

Do or does question and answer? ›

We use do/does or is/are as question words when we want to ask yes/no questions. 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.

What is the rule of enough in grammar? ›

Enough is a determiner, a pronoun or an adverb. We use enough to mean 'as much as we need or want'.

DO AND DOES rules in questions? ›

Yes, I do.
  • Do. We use do when the subject is I, you, we or they.
  • Does. We use does with third person singular pronouns i.e when the subject is he, she or it.
  • Past Tense. Did is the past form of both do and does.
  • Negatives. The negative form of do is do not.
Jan 28, 2013

Does and do Example sentence? ›

The first example is an imperative sentence, so it starts with 'do', secondly does is used with the third person.
Comparison Chart.
Basis for ComparisonDoDoes
ExampleDo you go to school daily?Does she like me?
Don't you have manners?It doesn't matter me much.
I do have a problem with you.Riya does homework daily.
5 more rows

Do or does question example? ›

“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”.

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?

Is enough singular or plural? ›

Enough as an adjective.

See below. Enough can qualify count nouns in the plural, or non count nouns (which are by definition in the singular). Enough cannot normally be used to qualify a count noun in the singular.

How do you use enough in a sentence? ›

Example Sentences

Adverb I couldn't run fast enough to catch up with her. She's old enough to know better. Are you rich enough to retire? That's good enough for me.

Does enough come before or after nouns? ›

Enough goes after adjectives, adverbs, and verbs. Enough goes before nouns.

Do and does questions negative? ›

For all verbs except be and have, we use do/does + not or did + not to make negatives in the present simple and past simple: They work hard. They do not (don't) work hard .

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. The present participle is doing.

Do and does questions conversation? ›

We use these questions when we want to ask yes/no questions with verbs. These questions are in the present tense.
Do/Does + subject + verb...?
  • Do you swim?
  • Does he smoke?
  • Does this computer work?
  • Does Mark exercise?

Do and does for 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.

Do DOES did simple questions? ›

The main difference between DO/DOES and DID is that the first two are used in the present tense and DID is used in the past tense. You can use DO/DOES as auxiliaries in the negative and interrogative form. For example: I don't go to school anymore.

What is the word order with enough? ›

RULE: Put the word enough after verbs. I am tired during the day because I don't sleep enough. RULE: Put the word enough before nouns. I have to take a taxi because there isn't enough time to walk there.

What preposition comes after enough? ›

Enough goes AFTER the adjective. Now, you may have noticed after large enough we have the preposition FOR + students. After enough, we can have for + person / people. Let's look at some more examples of this.

What is enough in plural? ›

enough (plural enoughs)

What does it mean when someone says enough? ›

determiner. Enough means as much as you need or as much as is necessary. They had enough cash for a one-way ticket. pronoun. If you say that something is enough, you mean that you do not want it to continue any longer or get any worse.

How do you put enough? ›

Answer: Place enough after an adjective or adverb, but before a noun. Margaret isn't well enough to attend. The restaurant didn't have enough staff.

Can enough be used with countable nouns? ›

You can use “enough” and “not enough” with any kind of noun – both countable nouns and uncountable nouns. For example: “We had enough sleep last night.” 'Sleep' is an uncountable noun. “They don't have enough books.” 'Book' is a countable noun.

What is the short form of do? ›

Definition of 'D/O'

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

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.

What is the use of DO? ›

Do is one of three auxiliary verbs in English: be, do, have. We use do to make negatives (do + not), to make question forms, and to make the verb more emphatic. I didn't see you at the concert the other night.

What is DO mean? ›

A doctor of osteopathic medicine, also known as a D.O., is a fully trained and licensed doctor. A doctor of osteopathic medicine graduates from a U.S. osteopathic medical school. A doctor of medicine, also known as an M.D., graduates from a traditional medical school.

Why we use DO before a verb? ›

Do is used to give emphasis to the main verb when there is no other auxiliary.

How do you start a response to a question? ›

Begin each answer with one or two sentence thesis which summarizes your answer. If possible, phrase the statement so that it rephrases the question's essential terms into a statement (which therefore directly answers the essay question).

How do you end a short answer response? ›

The most popular one is because. Others include so, since, consequently, as a result, and therefore. Provide a personal interpretation. The student often inaccurately assumes the reader or teacher defines the answer the same way they do.

How do you write a good response to a question? ›

How to write a successful response paper
  1. Know the material. Before you begin writing your response paper, it's important that you thoroughly understand the text. ...
  2. Organize your reaction. ...
  3. Write the introduction. ...
  4. Explore your reaction. ...
  5. Summarize your thoughts.
Dec 7, 2020

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