A strange question: is the form 'do is' correct? For example:

HTML is not a programming language. On the other hand, JavaScript, that can be used in a HTML document, do is a programming language.

  • 3
    "an HTML" (go by the sound). I can't see how "do" makes any sense here. Is there some reason for using it?
    – user3169
    Jan 10, 2016 at 22:48
  • 4
    By the way, where did you get the "do + be" idea from in the first place? Jan 10, 2016 at 23:02
  • 1
    The "do+be" is connected with emphasizing that despite HTML is not a programming language, it is able to have a code written in programming language included. But this question was mostly about curiosity :D.
    – Paweł
    Jan 10, 2016 at 23:14
  • 2
    do is a programming language means there's a programming language called "do" (why not? Go already exists :)).
    – Ruslan
    Jan 11, 2016 at 9:55
  • @user3169 I always thought "HTML" was pronounced like "hot meal", as in "Will code HTML for a hot meal"... (Paweł, please ignore this! user3169 is, of course, right! ;) ) Jan 11, 2016 at 13:35

3 Answers 3


No. do + be by itself is not a valid construction.

One of many possible replacements for your incorrect construction is:

HTML is not a programming language. On the other hand, JavaScript, that can be used in an HTML document, really is a programming language.

There is a whole class of words used to intensify verbs, adjectives or adverbs in some way. These are the intensifiers. Explaining all of them takes up more room than can reasonably fit in an answer. Just look up each intensifier in a dictionary.




  • 13
    Don't be a nuisance. Do be on time for class. Sometimes do + be is grammatical.
    – user230
    Jan 11, 2016 at 8:57
  • 3
    @snailboat, grammatically correct but not especially idiomatic - Be on time for class would be more commonly used, mainly because most people think "do be" sounds like something Sinatra would sing. Jan 11, 2016 at 11:32

"do" can be used to intensify almost any English verb, in which case it is often written in italics and spoken with heavy emphasis:

Despite the tedious grammar, I do appreciate English.

However, "do" cannot precede an auxiliary verb, where auxiliary verbs include be, will, can, may, etc. The same kind of intensification can still be done, but only by intensifying the auxiliary verb itself:

Unlike HTML, Javascript is a programming language.

(EDIT: On a side note, even if 'do' were acceptable, the standard conjugation would be does be and not do is.)

  • 2
    There is an exception, though, and that is in dialects of English where "be" indicates the habitual (such as Hiberno-English, the closely-related Newfoundland dialect, and African American Vernacular English). That is to say that you may hear "do be" (not "do is" or any other normal conjugated form), but it will not be in a standard dialect. So, in some contexts, HTML do be a programming language would be correct, or at least as correct as people who require Turing completeness allow it to be, but non-standard. Jan 11, 2016 at 7:45
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    And in "Pirate English", which is a fictionalised caricature of the Somerset / West Country accent and dialect, for example from a Garfield comic: "Arrr, it do be a land-lubber who be shovin' lasagna in his face" Jan 11, 2016 at 13:26
  • Does be does not sound natural or correct to me (AmE).
    – GoDucks
    Jan 11, 2016 at 18:29

"do is" is wrong here. In this case it would have to be "does be" but while being formed according to the rules of the trade, it would still end up being wrong.

Interesting enough, you can use this combination for the imperative mode: "do be a nice guy and fetch me a beer" is actually fine unless you are a teetotaler.

I don't really know whether there is an actual rule at play here or whether it just managed escaping into the vernacular because of sounding least contorted among its equally logical but impermissible cousins.

  • Does be does not sound natural or correct to me (AmE).
    – GoDucks
    Jan 11, 2016 at 18:29

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