Auxiliary Verbs: 3 Common Mistakes to Avoid When You Use 'Do' Verbs (And How to Use them Correctly)

The ‘Do’ verb is categorized under The Primary Auxiliaries in English Language. Owing to this, it is referred to as Function word. That is, a verb that helps main verbs in sentences. For clarification, the following are what you should know about the ‘Do’ verb.

·         It is known as ‘To do’ or ‘Do’ verbs.

·         It consists of three forms which are does, do, and did.

·         It is known as helping verbs.

·         It sometimes serve as main verb in sentences.

 ‘To do’ verb consists of do, does and did and these three are daily words commonly used for conversations. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons why many English users misused them a lot. This was discovered after giving out a worksheet on ‘Do verbs’ days ago. However, below are the 5 noticeable mistakes average percent of people make.

  1.  Invalid agreement between the subject and ‘to do’ verbs

Many English users do not use the appropriate ‘to do’ verbs to match the subject of the sentence and this renders sentences ungrammatical. Examples are:

       Many English users does not use appropriate words

       Sandra and Mayowa does not play on the assembly ground

       She do go to club for daily drink

In other to avoid grammatical blunders as above, one has to know the nook and cranny of Subject verb agreement in other to know the singular ‘to do verb’, ‘the plural’ and the past tense. Click here to learn more.

At this point, the correct way to write the above sentences is:

Many English users do not use appropriate words

Sandra and Mayowa do not play on the assembly ground

She does go to club for daily drink

In these sentences, all ‘to do’ verbs show agreement with the subject. ‘Do’ in sentence one is a plural verb that match with the subject, many users which is also plural. In sentence 2, ‘do’ shows agreement with the subject, Sandra and Mayowa. In sentence 3, ‘does’ agrees with the subject, she.

Note that failure to show agreement between ‘to do’ verbs and subject in sentences equals failure to write grammatical sentences. (Rule 1)

1.     Use of singular verbs for ‘Do’ verbs.

It is ungrammatical to singularize verbs that succeed any of the ‘Do’ forms. In other words, when you use singular verbs after does, do or did, either you want to show agreement or you don’t know the rules, you are wrong and that’s a 100% grammatical blunder that no one will admit for you. Examples of such mistakes are:

Does Sandra goes to school?

Does daddy sells tomato?

None of the above sentences could be verified as a correct one. This is because one of the rules when using the ‘Do’ verbs is that, one should not show agreement with the singular subject since the verb ‘does’ is already in agreement. Thus, the verb should remain in its base form. The correct way to write these sentences is:

Does Sandra go to school?

Does daddy sell tomato?

As you can see, the verb ‘go’ and ‘sell’ are written in their base form. No‘s’ is added since Does is already in agreement with the subject. (Rule 2)

1.      Use of past tense to show agreement with ‘did’.

Don’t be bewildered to if you notice after reading the third point that you are one of those who make this blunder while trying to show agreement between the subject and the verb or between the verb and another verb in a sentence. Let us study these examples.

       Did you took the matches?

       Did you drank the Zobo

       Did the principal gave Mrs Eunice a gift?

Take a binge look at these examples, you will notice that it is possible that you fall into the category of people who make this mistakes. Since it looks like the person in question (English user) is trying to comport his/her sentences by merging the past tense ‘did’ with another past tense (lexical verbs). Just like in sentence 1, the writer use took to show agreement with ‘did’ since he knows that ‘did’ is a past tense verb. Exactly the logic in the other 2 sentences. However, this is a subtle grammatical blunder that many English users may not know. The correct sentences are:

Did you take the matches?

Did you drink the Zobo

Did the principal give Mrs Eunice a gift?

What did you notice? I have changed all lexical verbs in each sentences from their past tense to their base form. Took to take, drank to drink and gave to give.

This juncture, be aware that ‘to do’ verbs take base form of a verb and there is no need to singularize a verb or change a verb to past tense or past participle. Therefore, whenever you want to use ‘did’, make sure you use it together with the base form of the lexical verbs of the sentences.

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