Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When do I use DO/DOES/DID?

The structure of questions in English varies depending on the verb.  Verbs are divided into two categories:

1. to be
2. ALL other verbs (DO/DOES/DID)

If the verb is (to be), then the grammar will be different. If the verb is any other verb except (to be), then we use DO/DOES/DID as the helping or auxiliary verb.  We also use DO/DOES/DID for negative statements, but for this post, let's take a look at questions.  At the end of this post, you can find information about questions using the verb TO BE.

Questions: ALL Other Verbs (Using DO/DOES/DID)

To form questions in English using any other verb except (to be), we must use the helping or auxilary verbs: DO/DOES/DID.  Remember that DO/DOES we use in the present tense with the following subjects:


Do (I, you, we, they) understand English?
Does (he, she, it, your mother, the man) speak well?


And we use DID in the past tense with all subjects:
Did (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) pass the exam?

  • When forming questions with DO/DOES/DID, we use the following format:

Question Word + DO/DOES/DID + Subject + Verb
What                 + do                      +you        +like to do on the weekends?

We use DO/DOES/DID with the present and past simple tenses as seen below.


  • He likes to play baseball.= Does he like to play baseball?
  • They went shopping yesterday.= Did they go shopping yesterday?
  • They do their homework after dinner.= Do they do their homework after dinner?
  • She travels to Asia every summer.= Where does she travel every summer?
  • We go jogging at 7:00 am every morning.= When do you go jogging?
  • I went to class four times per week.= How often did you go to class?

Questions: TO BE

To form questions using the verb to be, all we do is switch the position of the subject and verb.  Remember, we use the verb to be in the present, past, continuous, future (going to) and passive constructions, as seen below.



  • He is Italian= Is he Italian? (present)
  • They are going to participate in the contest=  Are they going to participate in the contest? (future)
  • She is leaving soon!= Is she leaving soon? (continous/future)
  • The door is closed.= Is the door closed? (present passive)
  • The children were swimming all day long.= Were the children swimming all day long? (past continuous)
  • He is being interrogated by the FBI.= Is he being interrogated by the FBI? (present continuous)

I hope this helps.  If you have any suggestions for future blog posts, just write under the Q&A page on my blog ;)


    but can you help me with do/does +has/have. I have a difficulty in it.

  2. Thank you for this. :-)
    But can you help me with has and have.

  3. Thanks for reading! Here is a post on has vs. have. Leave any other questions you may have!

  4. Thanks ,
    Can u help me how to use has had in same sentence.....

  5. Hi Reader, Here is a post that can answer your question regarding has and had in the same sentence. If you have any other questions, just leave a comment. Thanks for reading!

  6. Which is correct?
    "The maid did the laundry this morning." or
    "The maid does the laundry this morning."

  7. "This morning" is actually in the past, so the correct sentence is "The maid did the laundry this morning." The other sentence would be correct if it read: "The maid does the laundry every morning.", which expresses a daily routine.

  8. Thank you. This is really helpful

  9. What tense should be used for "did"

    1. Did is used in the past tense, negative and with questions. "I didn't know what to do." What did you think of the movie?"

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. The main verb doesn’t take the tense and remains in its base form.

  10. thank you so much your grammar is very understandable ...

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Thank you so much ... It Helps me to learn english petty fast . & i need some few more examples on this so please post them ......

  13. what about could, should and would?


  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. please correct me if im wrong, i really need your help.

    "What does the situation of the boy in the song?" is this correct?

  16. Can someone help me with this sentence if which one is correct??
    " did i do something wrong" or "did i did something wrong" .. i hope you can answer this thamk you.!

  17. Did I DO something wrong is correct. Do and Does/Did determine the tense as either present or past. The verb is always in its simple form. The subject and do, does or did do not affect the verb, ever. For example, Do you LIKE fish? Does she LIKE chicken? Did they LIKE the trip? Hope that helps,

  18. The door is closed.= Is the door closed?
    If we ask Was the door closed (is it passive?)

    1. Good question. I would say it's the passive because the door was closed by someone. Active voice would be: John closed the door. Thanks for reading;)


Featured Post

When do I use HAVE and HAS?

"Have" and "has" are both present tense conjugations of the verb "to have," and we use "have" or &q...