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How and when to use Do, Does and Did

by Chetna Vasishth

Do you know how to use the words ‘Do-Does and Did’ correctly?
Does anyone know the correct usage of these words in questions?
Did your teacher explain this properly in class or leave you confused?
Ok,Ok… we will make all this very simple for you in this article, so let’s get going

This is an English grammar lesson where we will discuss the correct usage of the words ‘do, does and did’ – which can be pretty confusing at times. I will try to keep this class very simple without using too many complex grammar terms and we will also practice along the way.

Do, Does and Did are all forms of the verb to do.
In the Simple present tense – we use ‘do or does’
Think of it like the word ‘go’ – example –

DOES –

When you are talking about singular, third person – he, she, it, Jack, Jane, the car – you use ‘does’ – just like you would use ‘goes’
example – Jack does his homework everyday
She does her exercises every morning

DO –

In all other cases you would use ‘do’ – example when you are talking about ‘I, you, we, they, these, those or any plurals
example – I do a lot of work these days
You do volunteer work on Sundays
They do nothing at all
We do our laundry on weekends
Sarah and Jane do not like cats (because Sarah and Jane are ‘they’)
Notice how I brought in a negative. Sarah and Jane do not like cats or Sarah and Jane don’t like cats.

The negative forms

The negative forms of do and does are fairly simple – do not (which becomes don’t) and does not (which contracts to doesn’t) when we speak. However, if you are writing a formal assignment or paper, we use the full forms – do not and does not.

DID –

Did is used when we are talking in past tense. And it becomes fairly simple here because both do and does become did in the past tense
example – I did my assignment last night
He did his homework on time
The girls did ballet at school (plural)
The car did not get cleaned yesterday (negative)
The negative of did is did not, which shortens to didn’t when we speak.
Write a few sentence with do, does and did as a comment under this video to practice using these words. And now that we know the basics, let’s move on

Helping verb –

‘Do’ is a general verb, it does not have any specific action associated with it. So it sometimes can be used in a few other ways too.
In forming Questions and negative statements – examples
You study (Statement in Present Tense)
(Q) Do you study
(Neg) You do not study (don’t)
He walks
(Q) Does he walk (no s)
(Neg) He does not walk (no s)
Notice what happens to the verbs walk and study – these remain in their base form, in simple present – walk.
Let’s try one more

She loves dogs
(Q) Does she love dogs
(Neg) She does not love dogs

Let’s practice making questions together –  you will find the solutions at the end of the article for you to check
1. They speak English
2. She lives in France
3. The earth goes around the sun
4. The doll has black hair
5. We like reading

Questions in the Past tense

Statement (in simple present tense) – He eats bread
Q (present) – Does he eat bread
Q (past) – Did he eat bread
There is no change in the sentence except for Does becoming Did.
It will be wrong to say – did he ate bread. It is – Did he eat bread
Statement – (simple present tense) – They speak English
Q – Do they speak English
Q (past) – Did they speak English

Let’s practice some more, you will find the solutions at the end of the video
________ you know about the test tomorrow
________ Ms Charles give homework everyday
________ Cathy and Peter know about the submission tomorrow
________ you know what happened in the lab today
________ anyone have the Physics textbook
________ Jenny know the girl in red

Solutions

1. They speak English
Do they speak English? (Present Tense)
Did they speak English? (Past Tense)
They do not speak English (Negative)

2. She lives in France
Does she live in France? (Present Tense)
Did she live in France? (Past Tense)
She did not live in France (Negative)

3. The earth goes around the sun
Does the earth go around the sun (Present Tense)
Did the earth go around the sun (Past Tense)
The earth does not go around the sun (Negative)

4. The doll has black hair
Does the doll have black hair (Present Tense)
Did the doll have black hair (Past Tense)
The doll does not have black hair (Negative)

5. We like reading
Do we like reading? (Present Tense)
Did we like reading? (Past Tense)
We do not like reading (Negative)

Do you know about the test tomorrow
Does Ms Charles give homework everyday
Do Cathy and Peter know about the submission tomorrow
Do you know what happened in the lab today
Does anyone have the Physics textbook
Does Jenny know the girl in red

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