Interested in Language
I know this sentence is correct, but I do not know how to explain it to others (in grammar terms\rules).
Does it say...
Does he have to...
Did he eat...
The underlined phrases when said alone sounds incorrect (grammatically as well).
Please advise as to what role the word "does\did" play here?
And how can I explain\present it to others while training on this topic.
Thank you in advance
In "Does it say..." students may ask :
1. Why do we need that 'does' at sentence initial position?
2. 'it say'? Should it not be it says?
In interrogative sentences, we usually place a helping verb at the foremost part. 'say' is not a helping verb, so we need one. The verb 'do' does that job. It has to agree in number and person with the subject of the sentence, in our case with 'it'. The main verb 'say' assumes its bare infinitive form and becomes tenseless. The tense-carrier is the so-called operator, the first auxiliary verb in the sentence.
You are welcome.
Even more simple:
We use "to do" to ask questions, to make things negative, and to be emphatic.
Does he like green beans? -- A question
He didn't go to the party. -- Negative
He did remember to feed the dog! -- Emphatic
We make the "to do" verb match the person and the tense. I do, she does not, he did, we do not.
We leave the main verb in its original form, without the "to" and this is called the bare infinitive.
(They will have similar questions with modal verbs: Would he mind, could she ask, etc. It's the same basic answer: After a modal, you use the bare infinitive.)
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.