English Grammar Workbook For Dummies with Online Practice
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon

In English some present-tense negative statements are formed by adding do or does, along with the word not, to a main verb. The not squeezes itself between the helper (do or does) and the main verb. Remember that does is always singular. The helping verb do may be paired with the singular subjects I and you. Do is also used with all plural subjects. Here are some examples:

Larry does not drive a sports car because he wants to project a wholesome image. (Larry = singular subject, does drive = singular present tense verb)
The killer bees do not chase Roger because they are afraid of him. (bees = plural subject, do chase = plural present tense verb)
I do not want to learn anything else about verbs ever again. (I = singular subject, do want = singular present tense verb)
You do not dance like that in this club! (You = singular or plural subject, do dance = singular or plural present tense verb.)

One more joyous thought: To form past tense negative statements, the helping verb did is all you need for both singular and plural subjects:

Roger did not dance all night. (Roger = singular subject, did dance = singular past tense verb)
Lola and Lulu did not send a package of killer bees to Roger. (Lola and Lulu = plural subject, did send = plural past tense verb)

Negative statements in the future tense questions are even easier. You don’t need additional helping verbs, and the helping verbs (shall or will) are the same for both singular and plural:

Roger will not write a thank-you note to Lola. (Roger = singular subject, will write = singular future tense verb)
The killer bees will not shy away from Larry. (bees = plural subject, will shy = plural future tense verb)

Try it yourself: Change this statement into a negative (opposite).

George gave me help during the grammar test.

Answer: George did not give me help during the grammar test. You form the negative with the helping verb did.

About This Article

This article can be found in the category: