Don't vs. Doesn't

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Don't vs. Doesn't

Post  Vincent Law on Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:16 pm

To make a negative sentence in English we normally use Don't or Doesn't with all verbs EXCEPT To Be and Modal verbs (Can, might, should etc.).

Affirmative: "You speak Spanish."
Negative: "You don't speak Spanish."

You will see that we add don't between the subject and the verb. We use Don't when the subject is I, you, we or they.

Affirmative: "He speaks Spanish."
Negative: "He doesn't speak Spanish."

When the subject is he, she or it, we add doesn't between the subject and the verb to make a negative sentence. Notice that the letter S at the end of the verb in the affirmative sentence (because it is in third person) disappears in the negative sentence. We will see the reason why below.

- Contractions:
Don't = Do not
Doesn't = Does no

"I don't like fish" = "I do not like fish."

There is no difference in meaning though we normally use contractions in spoken English.

- Word Order of Negative Sentences:
The following is the word order to construct a basic negative sentence in English in the Present Tense using Don't or Doesn't.

Subject: I / you / we / they
Verb: don't have / buy
The Rest of the sentence: cereal for breakfast

Subject: he / she / it
Verb: doesn't eat / like etc.
The Rest of the sentence: cereal for breakfast

Examples of Negative Sentences with Don't and Doesn't:
  "You don't speak Russian."
   "John doesn't speak French."
   "We don't have time for a quick drink."
   "It doesn't rain much in summer."
   "They don't want to come with us."
   "She doesn't like meat."
Vincent Law
Vincent Law
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