How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”? | English Time Ask Elo

by May 23, 2019English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo


How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?


Elo Kasia


English Time Ask Elo (23/05/2019)



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How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?


English Time Ask Elo


Asked by Julie D. Canete

Julie D. Canete

Community Learner

How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?


English Time Ask Elo


Answered by Elo Kasia

  • Director at Eloquent – An Professional Education Company Located In UK.
  • Strategy Partner of



how to use do does did doing fearture

How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”



? Question Time: How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?

? Thank you to all the members who sent us their questions.

Please keep on sending more questions, we will answer them for you. One every day.

? As many of our members are beginners, I will try to explain difficult points by using simple language and not use too many grammar terms. I believe that it is important to know how to use language in practice and in everyday conversation. Of course, I will introduce some grammar terms, so that you become familiar with them over time.

@Julie D. Canete thank you for asking this question.


How to use “does, doesn’t, do, did and doing”?


The verb “do” can be used in many different ways and has different forms, which can be confusing. There are two ways in which the verb “do” is used in English. First, it is a “helping verb” and we need it to ask questions and make negative statements. Second, it is used as a main or “normal verb”.


Let us have a look at these two different ways.


1. Questions and negative sentences.

Look at these examples first:

  • I go to school every day. (Present Simple)
  • I went to school yesterday. (Past Simple)

These sentences only have one verb (go, went). If you want to make a question, you need a “helping verb”, “do”, “does” or “did”.

“Do” and “does” are used with Present Simple.

I go to school every day.

  • Q: Do you go to school on Saturday? (do is used for I, you, we, they)
  • Q: Does she go to school on Saturday? (does is used for he/she)


We can also have questions with a question word, such as “where”, “what”, “what time”, “why” etc. We just add them at the beginning of the sentence, so we have:

  • Where do you go every day?
  • What time does he go to school?
  • Why did he go to school?



We also need a “helping verb” to make negative sentences. We use “do not” = “don’t” and “does not” = “doesn’t” for Present Simple, for example:

“I don’t go to school.” (I’m at university now.)
“He doesn’t go shopping.” (His wife does.)

In a similar way, we need a “helping verb” when we want to make questions or negatives in the Past Simple. We use “did” for all persons.

I went to school yesterday.

  • Q: Did you go to school yesterday? and Where did he go yesterday?
  • N: I didn’t go to school yesterday. (It was Saturday.)


2. “Do” can also be a “normal” verb and we can use it in different forms, depending on which tense we need.

Here are some examples:

  • I do my homework every day. (Present Simple, which we use for routine actions, something that happens regularly)
  • I’m doing the dishes now. (Present Continuous, which we use for actions happening at the time of speaking)
  • I did everything I could to help him. (Past Simple, which we use for actions in the past, which are completed)

Do we need English grammar in speaking Elo Kasia is the Facebook Group Mentor for “English Time | What I Learned Today” and Director at Eloquent Learning Online School.

Do we need English grammar in speaking

Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent - An Professional Education Company Located In UK. , Strategy Partner of

How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?


English Time Ask Elo

Answered by Faizan Falak Sher (Community Member)


In the simple present tense, “do” will function as an auxiliary to express the negative and to ask questions. (Does, however, is substituted for third-person, singular subjects in the present tense. The past tense did works with all persons, singular and plural.)

  • I don’t study at night.
  • She doesn’t work here anymore.
  • Do you attend this school?
  • Does he work here?


These verbs also work as “short answers,” with the main verb omitted.

  • Does she work here? No, she doesn’t work here.


With “yes-no” questions, the form of do goes in front of the subject and the main verb comes after the subject:

  • Did your grandmother know Truman?
  • Do wildflowers grow in your back yard?


Forms of “do” are useful in expressing similarity and differences in conjunction with so and neither.

  • My wife hates spinach and so does my son.
  • My wife doesn’t like spinach; neither do I.
  • Do is also helpful because it means you don’t have to repeat the verb:
  • Larry excelled in language studies; so did his brother.
  • Raoul studies as hard as his sister does.


The so-called emphatic do have many uses in English.

  • To add emphasis to an entire sentence: “He does like spinach. He really does!”
  • To add emphasis to an imperative: “Do come in.” (actually softens the command)
  • To add emphasis to a frequency adverb: “He never did understand his father.” “She always does manage to hurt her mother’s feelings.”
  • To contradict a negative statement: “You didn’t do your homework, did you?” “Oh, but I did finish it.”
  • To ask a clarifying question about a previous negative statement: “Ridwell didn’t take the tools.” “Then who did take the tools?”
  • To indicate a strong concession: “Although the Clintons denied any wrong-doing, they did return some of the gifts.”
  • In the absence of other modal auxiliaries, a form of do is used in question and negative constructions known as the get passive:
  • Did Rinaldo get selected by board?
Faizan Falak Sher

Community Member

How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?


Answered by Suparno Bhattachayrra (Community Writer)

does : Does he speak Spanish?


When the subject is he, she or it, we add DOES at the beginning to make the affirmative sentence a question. 

  • doesn’t : Affirmative: He speaks French.
  • Negative: He doesn’t speak French.


do : Do is usually used to make questions and it comes at the start of a sentence.

  • did : Did Alex think of her that way?
  • Did you know that?
  • And that was the way it did happen.Did I hurt you?
  • doing : They should be doing an ultrasound in a couple of weeks.
  • “What are you doing,” he finally asked.
  • God, he’s probably never heard anyone doing that!
  • What are you doing up at this hour?
Suparno Bhattachayrra

Community Writer

How to use “do”, “does”, “did” and “doing”?


English Time Ask Elo


Answered by Zafar Ali (Community Member)


  • he doesn’t take class. here doesn’t is aux verb. he does his work on time
  • here does functions as main verb. 
  • didn’t he submit the form? 
  • He didnt submit the form. here did not function as aux verb.
Suparno Bhattachayrra

Community Writer

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