‘To do’ and ‘To be’ are two of the most commonly used verb forms in the English language. Does is the singular form of ‘Do’, and ‘Is’ is the third person singular form of the ‘be’ verb form. However, many second language users misuse these two words. In this article, we are going to explain the difference between does and is through describing the instances where they should be used.
Does – Meaning and Usage
Does is an action verb (Action verb is a verb that describes actions and things taking place) that comes from the verb do. It is the singular form of simple present tense of Do.
“She does all the work in the house.”
“He does it perfectly.”
It is also used in forming interrogatives. When you are making a question from a sentence that contains an action verb, you have to use ‘Does’ at the beginning of the question. For example, take the statement, “He goes to school.” To make a question from this statement, you have to place ‘does’ at the beginning and then repeat the sentence. Remember to make the original verb (‘goes’ in this example) single.
“He goes to school.” – “Does he go to school?”
“He sleeps in the class.” – “Does he sleep in the class?”
Similarly, ‘does’ is also used in negations. Here you have to place does and not (does not/doesn’t) before the verb.
“He likes her.” – “He does not like her.”
“He wants to go abroad.” – “He does not want to go abroad.”
‘Does’ is also used for the purpose of emphasis. For instance, consider the example, “he does like her.” Here, ‘does’ do not change the meaning; it is mainly used to emphasize the fact that he likes her.
- “She does hard work.” – Affirmative
- “She does not work hard.”– Negation
- “Does she work hard?”– Interrogative
- “She does work hard.”– Emphasis
Is – Meaning and Usage
‘Is’ is a verb that is used as a third person singular form in present indicative tense of ‘to be’. It is a stative verb (express a state rather than an action. They usually relate to thoughts, emotions, relationships, senses, states of being and measurements.) and is mostly used to describe things.
- ‘Is’ is used to indicate role or position that one has at work, family, or other organization.
“He is the only child in the family.”
“She is an advocate.”
- It is also used with adjectives to describe the subject.
“He is handsome.”
“She is an intelligent woman.”
- It is also to indicate a location
“He is at school.”
“She is in the garden.”
- It is used as an auxiliary verb in present continuous tense.
“He is standing in the rain.”
“She is eating an apple.”
- ‘Is’ is used in passive voice construction. To form a sentence (a third person singular) in the passive voice, you have to use ‘is’ with the past participle.
“He teaches English.” – “English is taught by him.”
“Everybody loves Alex.” – “Alex is loved by everybody.”
Difference between Is and Does
Is: often used as a stative verb.
Does: often used as an action verb.
Is: often used to describe a person, object, or a location.
Does: often used to describe an action.
Is: Used to form the third person, singular form in simple present passive sentences.
Does: Not used in passive formations.
Is: only used in forming the negation of sentences that contain the ‘be’ verb.
Does: used in forming the negation of sentences that contain action verbs.
Is: only used to form interrogatives from sentences that contain the ‘be’ verb.
Does: used to form interrogatives from sentences that contain action verbs.
Is: used as an auxiliary verb in the formation of present continuous tense.
Does: not used as an auxiliary in progressive forms.