The Verb To Do

The verb to do is another common verb in English. It can be used as an auxiliary and a main verb. It is often used in questions.

Forms of To Do
  Present Past Perfect
I / you / we / they
have / had done
are / were doing
he / she / it
has / had done
is / was doing

As an auxiliary verb do is used with a main verb when forming interrogative or negative sentences, or for adding emphasis. It is also called the dummy operator or dummy auxiliary.


Question Positive Statement (spoken) Negative Statement (spoken)
Do I? I do I do not (I don't)
Do you? You do You do not (You don't)
Does he/she/it? He/she/it does He/she/it does not (He/she/it doesn't)
Do we? We do We do not (We don't)
Do you? You do You do not (You don't)
Do they? They do They do not (They don't)


Do Does
Question - ? "Do you always take the bus to work?" "Does she ever do her homework on time?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes, I do." "Yes, she does."
Negative Answer - No "No, I don't." "No, she doesn't."

The most common question using "do" that you will probably hear whilst learning English is "What do you do?" The person asking simply wants to know what you do for a living.

Question Possible answers
What do you do? I'm a student.
  I'm an architect. I'm a trainee architect.
  I'm looking for work.
  I'm on a career break.
  I'm a volunteer.
  I'm a housewife. / I'm a househusband.
  I'm a pensioner. / I'm retired.
What does he / she do? He / She's a student.
  He / She's an architect. He / She's a trainee architect.
  He / She's looking for work.
  He / She's on a career break.
  He / She's a volunteer.
  He / She's a housewife. / He / She's a househusband.
  He / She's a pensioner. / He / She's retired.
What do we / they do? We / They are students.
  We / They are architects. We / They are trainee architects.
  We / They are looking for work.
  We / They areon a career break.
  We / They are volunteers.
  We / They are housewives. / We / They are househusbands.
  We / They are pensioners. / We / They are retired.

When using the continuous tense do becomes doing and it doesn't change.

Question - ? "What are you doing? Are you doing your homework?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes, I am ."
Negative Answer - No "No, I'm not."

When using the simple past tense do becomes did and it doesn't change.

Question - ? "Did you always take the bus to school?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes, I did ."
Negative Answer - No "No, I didn't ."

When using the perfect tense do becomes done and it doesn't change.

Question - ? "Have you done your homework?"
Positive Answer - Yes "Yes I have ."
Negative Answer - No "No I haven't."

More functions for the verb “to do

The verb “to do” works as a main verb.

For example:-

YT - My husband does the dishes.

ST - Gosh! Did he do them yesterday?

YT - Yes he did.

Do is used as an auxiliary verb (dummy auxiliary) in the question form.

For example: I know the way. Do you know the way?

Do is used for emphasis in positive statements.

For example: I do like this beer!

!Note - As an auxiliary verb 'do' is always followed by the base form of the main verb (infinitive).