Should we use don't or doesn't in the below sentence and why?

"Knowing magic secrets doesn’t make you a magician"


"Don't/doesn't" work in the absolutely same way as "do/does".

If there is one countable unit (or a gerund) or one uncountable unit then "doesn't", if there are more than one unit or a plural amount then "don't":

  • A horse and a revolver don't make you a cowboy.
  • Having a lot of money doesn't make you happy.
  • Money doesn't grow.
  • Butterflies don't live a long a happy life.

However, in cases when we render several units as a single unit, or as something abstract we use "doesn't":

  • A quill and ink doesn't write a story.
  • His bread and butter doesn't bring in much money.
  • So it should be 'doesn't in the above example, considering 'magic secrets' as rendering several units as a single unit. Am i right? – santhosha Jan 17 '18 at 10:10
  • 1
    No, "Knowing magic secrets" is a gerund thus "doesn't". – SovereignSun Jan 17 '18 at 10:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.