The verb do is used very often in English grammar. The verb do is used as an auxiliary verb or a main verb. In this lesson, we will learn all about it.
Functions of 'Do'
- Auxiliary Verb
- Main Verb
1. 'Do' as an Auxiliary Verb
Do as an auxiliary verb has no specific meaning and it is used to help make a question or a negation. Have a look:
I work hard. →
'Work' is the simple present tense, so 'do' is needed to make a question or negation.
I tried to talk to him. →
'Tried' is the simple past tense, so 'did' is used.
- Do is used to emphasize the verb. For example:
The speaker emphasizes what they know.
The verb to be is the only main verb that does not take the auxiliary verb 'do' in questions or negations. Look:
She is a doctor. →
Position in a Sentence
The auxiliary verb do mainly comes before the main verb. Remember that in short answers, it can be used alone. For example:
Contraction & Negation of 'Do'
This table shows some examples of the negation and negative contractions of the verb do:
|I do||I do not||I don't|
|she does||she does not||she doesn't|
|they do||they do not||they don't|
|I did||I did not||I didn't|
2. 'Do' as a Main Verb
Do as the main verb contributes to the meaning of the sentence. Take a look:
- Do as the main verb is a dummy verb in this structure: do + noun. Look:
- Do as a main verb means 'to perform, to act.' For example:
What is he
Position in a Sentence
The verb do as the main verb acts like other main verbs and expresses the action of the doer. To make a question or negation, we still need the auxiliary verb 'do.' For example:
The underline words are auxiliary verbs.
Here is the conjugation of the verb 'do.' Look:
|I do||we do|
|you do||you do|
|he/she does||they do|
|I did||we did|
|you did||you did|
|she/he did||they did|
- past participle
|I have done||we have done|
|you have done||you have done|
|she/he has done||they have done|
|I am doing||we are doing|
|you are doing||you are doing|
|she/he is doing||they are doing|
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