English for everyone! Let’s talk about the verb DO

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English is a very popular and necessary language nowadays and you simply cannot do without it. It is spoken by the majority of society and is therefore a much needed language not only for communication on holiday, but also at work or school.

But learning English, especially for self-taught learners, may not be the easiest thing to do. That’s why we’ve prepared a short article with a few examples to help you learn something new together.

We are talking about irregular verbs, which are crucial for everyday communication in English. Without knowing them, you will be confused both in the spoken word and in comprehension. That’s why we’re going to take a look at some irregular verbs.

Irregular verbs

These are verbs whose forms we need to learn. Each irregular verb has 3 forms that are either spelled completely differently or have different pronunciations.

To understand and use the tenses correctly, we must know these verbs by heart. Fortunately, for normal conversation, we will only need some basic verbs.

The verb DO

The verb DO, or to do, is undoubtedly one of the most commonly used verbs in English ever. That is why we need to know and be able to use all its forms.

The past tense DO literally requires knowledge of these forms. Without them, we would not be able to form the past tense at all.

Forms of the verb DO

Infinitive: DO /dʊ/

Past tense: DID /dɪd/

Past Participle: DONE /dʌn/

Past simple DO

The past simple tense expresses an action that took place in the past. The action could have happened once or repeatedly.

There is a little catch with this verb, so read carefully.

We form this tense using the 2nd form of the verb DO (i.e. DID). For the past simple tense, we don’t make any distinction between singular and plural, so we always use the verb DID for affirmative sentences.

Negative sentences of the verb DO

Watch out for negative sentences. We use the verb in the infinitive to form a negative – that is, DO, and the negative meaning of the sentence is expressed by the verbs “did not/didn’t”.  So we have to combine the infinitive DO with the verb DIDN’T.

The verb DIDN’T does not replace the infinitive DO here. Therefore, we need to use/write both verbs even though they are the same verb. The resulting form will therefore be “DIDN’T DO”, not just “DIDN’T”.

Examples:

„I didn’t that!“   – Wrong

„I didn’tdo that!“ – Correct

„I did that.“

Past tense continuous DO

For the past continuous tense, we use the verb DO in combination with the ending -ing. However, you need to add the adjective “was/were” before the verb in the form DOING. If the meaning of the sentence is negative, we use “was not/wasn’t” or “were not/weren’t”.

When to use WAS and when to use WERE?

It’s simple. WAS is used when the subject performing the action is 1st or 3rd person singular. That is, if the subject in the sentence is “I did/he did,” we will use the WAS form.

For other persons, we use the WERE form. However, we often find that the verb WERE is used in every person completely. However, it is grammatically correct to distinguish these 2 forms.

Examples:

  • I was doing my homeworks all night.
  • You were doing your homeworks all night.
  • They weren’t doing their homeworks all night.

English is a beautiful language in which to continually improve. Therefore, all it takes is a little diligence, establishing a routine to learn and a positive attitude and the results will present themselves. Who knows, maybe in six months you will travel abroad and have no problem talking to the locals.

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