Here's from an old song (1963) "She's A Fool" by Lesley Gore.

She don't know that she's a lucky girl

Here's another example, "Silence is Golden" (1964) by The Tremeloes
[YouTube link]

Oh, don't it hurt deep inside to see someone do something to her.

I wonder how common it is to say "She don't" or "don't it".
Do native English speakers often use these?

By the way, Lesley Gore is American, and the Tremeloes is British.

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    @user3169 I'm asking how common it is, not about whether it is standard English or not. It's obviously non-standard. – Makoto Kato Nov 11 '14 at 0:35
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    The use of "don't" as used in your example is considered to be non-standard English, but it is commonly found in the informal speech of native English speakers. (And it is commonly found in song lyrics.) – F.E. Nov 11 '14 at 1:57
  • I can't understand why this was closed as a duplicate. The other question asks if "don't/doesn't" is standard. This speaker wants to know how common the usage is. These are entirely different questions. I don't know how to put it better than OP already did. – hunter Nov 11 '14 at 19:36
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    The best answer mentions that "He don't" is not Standard English. It is common in some non-Standard dialects, including the Southern dialect of American English. For example, the song "She don't know she's beautiful." I'm not sure there is much point in going beyond that. – ColleenV Nov 11 '14 at 20:37
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    @ColleenV 'How is the answer "it is common in some non-standard dialects" insufficient?' In what dialects? Only in Southern Amerian dialect? – Makoto Kato Nov 19 '14 at 2:05

I don't have actual numbers, but the use of "don't" in place of "doesn't" is generally seen as being an uneducated thing to say. It comes up fairly frequently in a few places where it is not viewed as much as an uneducated statement. (All of the following are my personal experience, to be clear.)

The most common place where you see it used without comment is among historically poor, uneducated communities having conversations among themselves, in particular among African Americans and rural people. Both groups tend to switch to more standard language when in a more formal setting (school, for instance) or when speaking to someone who does not belong to their group. This is called "code switching," and it is very common among people who speak multiple languages or dialects in a single day.

When I taught as a chemistry teacher at a predominately African American, inner city school some kids spoke in this way to each other between classes but used standard English in class. Now that I teach at a rural, predominately white school, some kids speak to each other in this way between classes and use standard English in class. Others (usually the better students) used standard English all of the time in both schools. At an urban school with a more affluent, mixed race student population, standard English was used virtually everywhere and someone using "don't" in place of "doesn't" probably would have been teased by the other students.

If my student used "don't" instead of "doesn't" I would have a hard time letting it slide, and I am not overly concerned with my students' grammar.

For adults, using "don't" in place of "doesn't" would be a significant mistake in most business or educational settings. The only place where you might see it is with a person intentionally trying to use it so that they could prove to the world how African American/rural/whatever they really are.

As hunter noted in his answer, there are a few phrases where it is used without comment.


It is not common in the speech of people speaking in the standard dialects, even in very informal contexts. It's very noticeable and marked. It is occasionally but rarely used to give a sense of being "folksy" (as in your songs) or even sometimes "dumb," i.e. the relatively common

it just don't add up

to mean that something isn't right. (The idea is, I'm a simple person who doesn't even know how to conjugate the verb "to do", but I can tell something is fishy.)

It is more common in some dialects.

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