Irregular Verbs – Do, Does

In our experience, English language learners tend to struggle with using "do" and "does" correctly until the low advanced level. Let's fix that!

In our experience, English language learners tend to struggle with using “do” and “does” correctly until the low advanced level. It’s no wonder because “do” is an extremely versatile word in English.

“Do” and its many forms can be a transitive verb, intransitive verb, helping verb, or a noun. It has dozens of meanings in English, which makes it a rather tricky word to master. However, Americans tend to use “do” and “does” according to your grammar lesson rules below.

It is impossible for us to cover every use of “do” and “does” in this lesson, but here are some of the most common ways. You can find all the definitions of “do” in American English in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, including a list of familiar phrases (source).

Practice with a Friend

Practice the following questions with a family member, friend, or yourself.

  1. What do you do for a living?
  2. What does your neighbor do?
  3. Do you enjoy hiking? Why or why not?
  4. What do you want to do this weekend?
  5. Does your family do anything fun on birthdays?

Ready to test your listening? Let's get started!

Listen to the transcript and fill in the blanks.

So, what do you for a living?
I everything English online during the week, and I vendor events on the weekends.
What you sell at vendor events?
We sell all-natural soap and candles.
Wow! your wife this with you?
Oh yeah! That business was her brainchild. She grew up that kind of thing.
That's pretty cool!
It is!


YES! From “yes” or “no” questions to avoiding redundancy to emphasizing a confirmation of something, using “do” and “does” comfortably is a crucial step toward English fluency.

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I am the wife of the man I adore, the mother of two brilliant kids, an English teacher to many wonderful students, and a writer of helpful content for the world. On any given day, you can find me outside working with my hands or sitting in a comfy chair with coffee and my Bible. I love learning languages, creating handmade items, and teaching my kids.

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