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  1. aachu's Avatar
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    #1

    the use of 'do'

    I have come across sentences as: "When do we expect...?", "what do I do now?" etc. What exactly do the mean? Is it a special use of 'Do'? What's the rule to use it?

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    #2

    Re: the use of 'do'

    Quote Originally Posted by aachu View Post
    I have come across sentences as: "When do we expect...?", "what do I do now?" etc. What exactly do the mean? Is it a special use of 'Do'? What's the rule to use it?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    (1) You have asked a very scholarly question. You will have to study some books or articles on the Web that explain the historical development of English.

    (2) I am delighted to share the very little that I know.

    (3) About 400 years ago, the English people started using "do" in questions and the

    negative.

    (4) For example, if you read Shakespeare, you will see examples of questions and the

    negative that do NOT use "do."

    (5) I am now reading one of his plays. Here are some sentences that I see:

    I know not.
    Why keep we her?
    Know you the musicians?

    (6) Then the English people started to use "do" for questions and the negative.

    (7) This "do" is called an auxiliary, It is a helping verb. It does not mean anything.

    (8) Can you change those three sentences in (5) to modern English? MAYBE the

    answers are:

    I do not know.
    Why do we keep her?
    Do you know the musicians?

    (9) Let's look at your two sentences:

    When do we expect the rain? MAYBE 400 years ago, you could ask:
    When expect we the rain?

    What do I do now? MAYBE in past years, it was something like: What do I now?/ What now do I?

    (10) Here is a sentence that confuses many learners: "She did it." Would you please

    change it to the question? I'm sure that you answered: Did she do it?

    *****

    If I have given you any accurate information, I wish to credit the one and only Professor George O. Curme in his two-volume masterpiece A Grammar of the English Language.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: the use of 'do'

    Quote Originally Posted by aachu View Post
    I have come across sentences as: "When do we expect...?", "what do I do now?" etc. What exactly do the mean? Is it a special use of 'Do'? What's the rule to use it?
    Given that you have correctly used the auxiliary verb DO in several of your 121 posts so far, I find this rather an odd question.

  3. aachu's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: the use of 'do'

    Yes, Sir 5jj. I've used it often. But the fact is that I learned English by reading(Historical content on wikipedia.com, and cricket news stories on cricinfo.com) and listening(watching movies etc) to others rather than studying the Grammar. So, at times, I get confused when I see/hear new kind of sentences. I'm learning English for the love of it. I've started to read Michael Swans book, and hope it helps me improve my English a lot.

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: the use of 'do'

    With the exception of BE and, for some speakers, HAVE (with the 'possession' meaning), all lexical verbs in English form their negatives and interrogatives with an auxiliary verb:

    I am not working; Can you come next Staturday?
    She hasn't arrived yet ; Will they arrive tomorrow?


    When no other auxiliary is appropriate, i.e. in the simple present and past tenses, we use the auxiliary DO for negatives and interrogatives.:

    We don't open at the weekend; Did you go out last night?


    But:

    He doesn't be isn't French; Do you be Are you ill?
    I haven't got a clue; I don't have a clue; I haven't a clue.
    Have you got a pen? Do you have a pen? Have you a pen?


    Note that the forms in blue are not used by many speakers.

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