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Does your father work for the government?

vs

Do your father work for the government?

Which one of these phrases is correct?

closed as off-topic by Catija, Chenmunka, choster, stangdon, Lamplighter Feb 23 '17 at 19:10

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  • 1
    "Does your father work for the government" is the correct phrasing. – mstorkson Feb 23 '17 at 18:07
3

English verbs are conjugated in present tense like this:

                          singular          plural
                          -------           ------
first-person                I do             we do
second-person             you do        you all do
third-person        he/she/it does         they do

so a verb will end with s or es if it's third person singular only.

The only verb that is different is to be which is I am, we are, you you/all are, he/she/it is and they are. (Even then the third-person singular is still the only form that ends with s.)

Therefore you say "Does your father work for the government" as father is third-person singular.

  • I am confused because 'Does' here appearing with 'your' not with father. – bravo Feb 23 '17 at 19:10
  • 1
    @bravo, "your" describes "father" (identifies which father is being referred to), it isn't the subject of anything. – fixer1234 Feb 23 '17 at 19:45
  • The subject of a sentence, if one word, has to be a noun. Your is a possessive adjective modifying father which is that noun. Adjectives don't change whether a noun is plural or singular. – LawrenceC Feb 23 '17 at 19:45

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