When to Use DO in the English Conversation


The verb “DO” has a very important role in the English, and it’s probably one of the most important verbs (after “TO BE”) that you will need to learn if you want to achieve fluency in this language. Knowing how to be able to use it can help you form your sentences better, and will allow you to better express yourself and your actions.

“DO” can be used in a variety of ways and that can be confusing to students, but in the video, Gabby explains how “DO” can be used, and you should watch the video to follow along! When do you use DO in the English conversation?

As a Verb

As mentioned before, there are several ways this word can be used. Firstly, DO is used as a verb. For example:

  • Do your homework!

You’re giving a command (or suggestion) to someone to do a specific task.  This is one of the simplest ways of using DO, but it’s also commonly heard on the streets in English-speaking countries, and it will give you a solid foundation that will help you in the future as you learn to ask more challenging questions.

For Emphasis

Secondly, DO is used to help you emphasize something (usually an action). You want to provide clarification or emphasis to someone. Take a look at the example below:

  • I do study hard!

It’s also commonly used when you’re trying to give a positive answer to a negative question!

  • Gabby: “Mandy told me you don’t like ice cream.”
  • Luis: “What? I do like ice cream! Mandy is lying!”

To Ask Questions

It’s third, and possibly its main purpose, is to be used as an auxiliary verb. You’ll be using DO to form and ask questions in the Present Tense, which is one of the main tenses in the English language.

  • Do you have $3 I can borrow?”
  • Do I have any money in my bank account?”


Its fourth purpose is to give negative statements or answers! When you’re describing a positive action or statement (ex. I study Mathematics), DO isn’t used anywhere! Here’s an example of a positive and a negative sense. Which sentence uses DO?

  • Positive Sentence: “I enjoy studying English!”
  • Negative Sentence: “I do not enjoy studying English!”

You can see already how diverse and how important word is when you’re learning English, but please do focus on trying to understand and remember how this word is used.

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Picture of Gabby Wallace, M.Ed TESOL

Gabby Wallace, M.Ed TESOL

About the Author
Gabby Wallace is the Founder of Go Natural English, where you can quickly improve your confidence speaking English through advanced fluency practice. Even if you don't have much time, this is the best place for improving your English skills. Millions of global intermediate - advanced English students are learning with Gabby's inspiring, clear, and energetic English lessons. Gabby has a Masters Degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Boston University and 20+ years experience helping students become fluent through her online courses and membership program.

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