Do – Does Comparison with the Help of Examples

Do and Does

To make a interrogative in English we normally use Do or Does. It is normally put at the beginning.

Affirmative

You Speak English.

Interrogative

Do you speak English?

You will see that we add do at the beginning of theaffirmative sentence to make it a interrogative.

We use do when the subject is I, you, we  or they.

See it with the help of example,

Affirmative

He speaks English.

Interrogative

Does he speak English?

When the subject he, she or it, we add does at the beginning to make the affirmative sentence an interrogative.

Notice that the letter ‘s’ at the end of verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in third person) disappears in the interrogative.

We will se the reason why below.

We don’t use do or does in interrogative that have the verb to be or modal verbs (can, must, might, should etc.)

Word order of interrogative with “do” and “does”

The following is the word order to construct a basic interrogative in English using ‘do’ or ‘does’.

Do/Does Do
Subject I/ You/ we/ the
Verb have / buy
The rest of the sentence Bread for breakfast?
Do/Does Does
Subject He/ she/ it
Verb eat / like
The rest of the sentence bread for breakfast?

The verb that goes here is the base form of the infinitive. The infinitive without to before the verb. Instead of the infinitive to have it is just the have part.

Remember that the infinitive is the verb before it is conjugated (changed) and it begins with to.

For example, to have, to eat, to go, to live, to speak etc.

Examples of Interrogative Sentences with Do and Does

  • Do you speak English?
  • Does John speak French?
  • Do we have time for a quick drink?
  • Does it rain a lot in Prague?
  • Do they want to come with me?
  • Does she like chocolate?

Short Answers with Do and Does

In interrogative sentences that use ‘do’ or ‘does’, it is possible to give short answers to direct questions as shown in the following examples.

Question Short Answer
(Affirmative)
Short Answer
(Negative)
Do you speak English? Yes, I do. No, I don’t.
Do I need a dictionary? Yes, you do. No, you don’t.
Do you both speak English? Yes, we do. No, we don’t.
Does he speak English? Yes, he does. No, he doesn’t.
Does it have four legs? Yes, it does. No, it doesn’t.

However, if a question word such as who, when, where,why, which or how is used in the interrogative, you cannot use the shortanswers above to respond to the question.

The order for making sentences with question words is the following.

Question Word + Do/Does + Subject + Verb

What     +             do           +             you        +             have for breakfast?        

What     +             does      +             she         +             have for breakfast?

Where  +             do           +             you        +             live?

When    +             do           +             you        +             study?

How       +             do           +             you        +             spell your name?

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.)

Affirmative

You speak Spanish.

Negative

You don’t speak Spanish.

You will see that we add don’t between the subject and the verb. We use don’t when the subject is I, you, we or they.

See another example,

Affirmative

He speaks French.

Negative

He doesn’t speak French.

When the subject is he, she or it, we add doesn’t between the subject and the verb to make a negative sentence. Notice that the letter ‘s’ at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence disappears in the negative sentence.

Contractions

Don’t = Do not

Doesn’t = Does not

I don’t like fish. = I do not like fish.

There is no difference in meaning though we normally use contractions in spoke English.

Word order of negative sentences

This table shows the word order to construct a basic negative sentence in English in the Present Tense using don’t or doesn’t.

Subject I/ You/ we/ the
Don’t/Doesn’t don’t
Verb have / buy
The rest of the sentence Bread for breakfast?
 
Subject He/ she/ it
Don’t/Doesn’t doesn’t
Verb eat / like
The rest of the sentence bread for breakfast?

Same rule applies here as mentioned in the interrogative sentences.

Examples of negative sentences with don’t and doesn’t.

  • You don’t take tea.
  • John doesn’t take tea.
  • It doesn’t rain much in summer.
  • They don’t want to come with us.
  • She doesn’t like meat.