What is the meaning of does in this sentence?

Whose exhibition does “Stars At Dusk” painting belong to?

Thank you very much

2 Answers 2


It got no meaning. It's an auxiliary verb used to construct the question in English. The main verb in your phrase is belong.

According to the Oxford Dictionary

Auxiliary verbs are so called because they help to form the various tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. The principal ones are be, do, and have.

You can find additional information about constructing wh- questions in the Cambridge Dictionary.


Does is the 'helping verb'.
It helps to construct the sentence. We often use the verb 'to do' to help construct question sentences.
Other examples:

Who do you know in America?
Main verb: know
Helping verb: do

Whose exhibition does 'The Stars at Dusk' painting belong to?
Main verb: belong
Helping verb: does

The helping verb and subject (I, you, we) must agree!
Do - I, You, We, They
Does - He, She, It. The dog or in this case The Stars At Dusk

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .