English Grammar Basic
by: Sofware Tutorial • 10
How and where to use do and does? This is a question that most learners ask frequently. It is simple to understand and use, and there is no need to panic by the confusion that you have.
Before we look into to do and does, it will help us to understand what is called the Simple Present.
He writes novels. They market articles. We sell books. You speak well. I go to church on Sundays.Look at the words that denote actions in the sentences above: writes, market, sell, speak and go. They are all in the present tense forms-write, writes, go, goes etc.
We use the present tense form of the verb in the Simple Present. However, the Simple Present is neither simple nor present. When you say I read the Times, it does not mean that you are reading the paper now. What it means is you read the Times every day or every time. The tense is not simple because it requires some amount of familiarity with English to use it well.
Anyway, the Simple Present is used to speak about what one does every day, every time, frequently, rarely or habitually. So you see, there is not time in this tense; it is not past, present or future but what happens every time.
You use do or does to form a question in the Simple Present.
They speak Mandarin.
Do they speak Mandarin?
He acts in films.
Does he act in films?
You use do with words such as I, we, you and they.
You use does with words such as he, she and it.
What does he do?
What do they know?
When do wake up?
Why does he tell lies?
I do not know where he goes during lunch.
You must not forget that we can use he or she instead of names of people such as Rob or Sue. Similarly, they instead of Rob and Sue.
When you want to negate a sentence you use not with do or does.
He doesn't smoke.
They don't speak Mandarin. They speak Malay.
Sometimes we use do and does to emphasize an action done by someone.
He sings well.
He does sing well.
You speak clearly
You do speak clearly.
They pay us well for the work we do.
They do pay us well for the work we do.
Now do you understand how to use do and does?