- I don’t understand.
- Do you like chocolate?
- Yes, she does.
- Did you get that?
- Mom thinks I like tomatoes, but I don’t.
- Do take a seat.
- I do like chocolate!
DO as an Auxiliary Verb
→ Does Jackie like football? → Do you want another piece of cake?
→ Jackie doesn’t like football. → I don’t want another piece of cake.
→ Did you see the match yesterday? → Did Joe like the present?
→ We didn’t have time for it. → Sally didn’t come to work today.
DO as a Lexical Verb
DO is a primary verb: it can be both auxiliary and lexical (‘normal’) verb. As a lexical verb, it’s easy to confuse it with MAKE: both translate as Spanish hacer. (exercises)
Always use DO when:
- It means “perform an activity”:
- “I have to do my homework.”
- “We have to do something!”
- “Did you do the washing-up?”
- With sports whose names are neither games nor the -ing forms of verbs of movement:
- “She does karate twice a week.”
- “He did ballet when he was younger.”
DO as a lexical verb needs DO as an auxiliary in Simple time forms:
- “Did you do your homework?”
- “How often do you do karate?”
DO as a Proxy
DO is cool: it can do (😉) just about anything.
→ DO can replace other verbs you don’t want to repeat.
→ DO can replace predicates you don’t want to repeat.
→ DO can replace other verbs in grammar explanations, and so on.
Other Uses of DO
We also use DO in imperatives (‘Persuasive DO’) and for emphasis:
- “Do take a seat.” → More authoritative than “Please take a seat.”
- “But I do like it!” → Someone said you didn’t.