Simple Present: Negatives and Questions


In the simple present tense, negative forms and question forms are made using the auxiliary verb “do”. This page explains the rules.

1. Forming a negative

Negatives in the simple present are formed by adding don't or doesn't before the simple form of the verb:

Subject Auxiliary Example
I don't I don't sing
You don't You don't sing
He doesn't He doesn't sing
She doesn't She doesn't sing
It doesn't It doesn't sing
We don't We don't sing
They don't They don't sing

In other words, only third person singular subjects (he, she and it) have doesn't — the rest have don't.

2. Forming a yes/no question

Yes/no questions are also created using the auxiliary do. This time, the auxiliary is placed before the subject. Here are the rules:

Auxiliary Subject Example
Do I Do I sing?
Do you Do you sing?
Does he Does he sing?
Does she Does she sing?
Does it Does it sing?
Do we Do we sing?
Do they Do they sing?

3. Forming a WH- question

WH- questions (using words such as “what”, “when”, and “where”) are also created by putting the auxiliary do before the subject. Then, you add the WH- word at the beginning. Here are some examples:

Statement Yes/no question WH- question
I sing Do I sing? What do I sing?
You fight. Do you fight? Why do you fight?
He lives Does he live? Where does he live?

When you are sure that you understand the lesson, you can continue with the exercises.