Does and has both are used with singular pronouns (He has the bottle , He does play cricket , etc) whereas Do and have are used with plural pronouns ( They have the bottle , Do they like cricket? , etc)

But still we use Does with have ( She does have a car ). Why? Shouldn't it be

She does has a car.

  • 1
    You realize that "He does (not) play..." and "She does have..." is the same grammatical structure? "have" being used not as an auxillary, but as simple verb in infinitive?
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 6:19
  • That is the question, Why "He does play..." and "She does have ..." are grammatically same? more importantly why "She does have ..." is even grammatically correct? Shouldn't it be "She does has.." ?
    – Ritwik
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 8:47
  • 1
    Because do is used as an auxuliary, and in its form does it already bears the "third-person-singular" marking (the letter s at the end). Any verb that connects to an auxiliary has no need for bearing the same "third-person-singular" marking. This is why we say "She plays" but "She does play" (no s on "play" in this latter case; the word "does" already does this job, there's no need to duplicate). Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 9:21

2 Answers 2


You need to realize that a verb can be either

  • finite (= matches the number of the subject of the sentence) or
  • nonfinite (= no inflection), which are infinitive, participles and gerunds. We are dealing with infinitives in your examples.

For an independent clause (AKA "sentence") you need at least one finite verb and unless you are making a "list" ("She laughs and sings and dances.") you use only one finite verb. In your example sentences you use four finite verbs, do, play, like and have.

Very simple sentences use only one verb, which by definition must be finite.:

He has the bottle.
They have the bottle

For questions or special emphasis you use an auxiliary verb (-> finite) together with a verb in the infinitive:

He does play cricket.
Do they like cricket?

So yes, in these cases "do" becomes "does" for third person singular because it is finite.

  • What Ritwik seemingly wants to know is why we can't have constructions like "She does has a car.", with both does and has in the third-person-singular form. I've edited Ritwik's question to make it clearer, based on their comment. Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 9:29
  • @CopperKettle That's why I wrote "finite + infinitive"... You think that's unclear? Any suggestions....? I made a small edit - better?
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 9:36
  • Yes, better: "only one finite verb". I remember in our school textbooks we had pictures of a train with two carriages, one "finite" and another, attached to it, "non-finite" (the carriages had words on them). Of course no suchlike recondite terminology was used, but it made clear that only the "helping verb" will assume the 3rd person singular form. (0: Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 9:45

"to do" is not only used in questions and negations, but also for emphasizing a verb.

You can say "I love it" and you can stress your statement by saying " I do love it".

"to do" is used in contradictions as in

  • You don't know it. - Contradiction: Yes, I do.

  • I think he doesn't have a car. -Contradiction: Yes, he does (have a car).

  • apart from the last line, I am still trying to figure out how your answer is related to the question?
    – Ritwik
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 8:50
  • @Ritwik : Because the question was significantly edited after the answer was posted - only then the real issue of the question became clear. The upvote is justified with regard to the original phrasing, IMHO.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 9:28

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