Can someone explain to me the grammatical rule for these examples:

  1. Does this belong to you? - correct
  2. Is this belongs to you? - wrong


  1. Does this mean I am right? - correct
  2. Is it mean I am right? - wrong

Why can't I use Is it?

  • (I assume you mean "Does this belong to you?" You can't use is because do is the auxiliary verb we use when forming questions. From the Cambridge Grammar website: Do is one of three auxiliary verbs in English: be, do, have. We use do to make negatives (do + not), to make question forms, and to make the verb more emphatic. Dec 14 '20 at 16:24
  • Would you say “This is belong to you” or “This is mean I am right”?
    – Laurel
    Dec 14 '20 at 16:39

"Does this ..." refers to some action the subject performs. Like "Does this car run well?" By "action" here I just mean "there's a verb following, not necessarily that something is running or jumping. Like, "Does this food taste good?"

"Is this ..." refers to identity. "Is this the book you asked for?" or "Is this your girlfriend?"

"Is this ..." is also used when asking if an adjective applies. Like, "Is this food good?" or "Is this man rude?"

In your examples, you are not asking for identity but an "action". You could ask, "Is this the right answer?" But you do not say, "Is this answer sound right?" but rather "Does this answer sound right?"

Let me clarify that "identity" is not necessarily unique. You could say, "Is this a good book?" You're not asking if it's the only good book in the history of the world, just if it's "a" good book.


A question (and a negative statement) requires an auxiliary before the subject. If there is already an auxiliary (eg have, are, should) then it comes before the subject:

Have you seen it? (<- You have seen it)

Are they at home?

Should I press the button?

If there is not already an auxiliary, then for all verbs other than be and (for some speakers) have, the auxiliary do is inserted before the subject:

Do they speak English? (<- They speak English)

Does this belong to you? (<- This belongs to you)

The only auxiliary inserted in this way is do (does, don't, doesn't, did, didn't). All other auxiliaries (such as is) are used only if they would be there in the corresponding statement.

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