All Practical Uses of The Verb ‘Do’


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The verb ‘Do’ has a huge number of practical uses and meanings in English. Once you know all of them, you will simply get surprised! Hopefully you cannot wait anymore to learn!

First of all, we should know that the verb ‘do’ can be used as all these three—main, auxiliary and substitute verbs. Let us learn in this lesson about its usages as a main verb.

A. To talk about or describe ‘Work, Action or Any Activity’ : 

Do as a main verb is used with action nouns such as homework, job, office, -ing nouns like cooking, cleaning etc. See the sentences below :

1. I usually ‘do exercise’ in the evening after office. (Expressing activity).
2. I sometimes ‘do cooking’ at home when my wife feels sick or asks me to. (Expressing a work or activity).
3. When do you ‘do your homework’, my son?
4. Who usually ‘does the laundry’ at your residence?

B. To talk about ‘Achievement, Finish or Completion of  Tasks and Dealing with Something’.

As a main verb, we use do to ‘talk about achieving, completing or dealing with things’. Look at the sentences below :

1. Today we have done 80 percent of the work. (Means ‘what percentage of the work’ is done or achieved).
2. Have you done the math already? Yes, sir. I have done. (Means ‘the math is completed or the task (solving the math) is achieved).
3. a. How far have you gone so far? b. We have ‘done 100 miles’ (expressing ‘achieving or finishing the distance’).
4. My son regularly ‘does the Sudoko’ in the newspaper.

C. To describe ‘study a subject’ : 

We use ‘do’ to ‘talk about studying a subject’. Look at the sentences below :

1. a. What do you do at the university?
b. I ‘do Applied English’ alongside literature. (expressing ‘I study Applied English’). a. It’s good.
2. a. What did your wife do at university? b. She ‘did History’. (meaning she studied History).
3. If you want to learn English properly, then you have to ‘do Applied English and Literature’.

D. To express ‘Production or Creation or Making of something’ : 

The verb ‘do’ can be used with nouns such as copy, design, drawing, painting etc. to talk about ‘creating or producing something, especially in informal or spoken English. See the sentences below :

1. Could you please ‘do a copy of this piece of paper’ for me?
2. I would like to do a copy of this page of today’s issue of the Prothom Alo, the most popular Bengali Daily in Bangladesh. How could you help me?
3. Could you ‘do me a copy of this photo’?
4. Who ‘did the design’ for the website of your company? It’s nice.

E. To refer to ‘be enough or acceptable’ :

The verb ‘do’ can be used, especially with will or won’t, to talk about things being enough or acceptable. Look at the sentences given below :

1. a : What size pant do you need?
b : Some 34 size ‘will do’.
2. a. How much money do you need to do the work?
b. Some Tk.100k ‘will do’.
3. I think this amount of food for such a huge number of people ‘won’t do’. (meaning will not be enough).

F. To refer to ‘clean or make things tidy’ : 

We use do as a main verb to talk about cleaning things or making them tidy. See the examples below :

1. I have ‘did the room’ fully today after returning from village home for about 3 months.
2. Are you ready? No, not yet. I will just ‘do my hair’. Then I will set out.

G. To talk about ‘Taking Part in Activities’ : 

We use ‘do to refer to taking part in activities’. See the sentences provided below :

1. My friend and I usually ‘do some push-ups’ when we go for exercise during each weekend.
2. We ‘did a lot of fun things’ during family holiday last month.
3. Children usually ‘do lots of activities’ while being in schools.
4. My younger brother ‘does hiking’ while being on vocation.

Final Words : If needed, memorize the main uses or meanings of the verb ‘do’ and then practice them in real life for long term result. Well, second part on the uses and meanings of the irregular verb ‘do’ as a substitute one will be followed soon. So keep surfing us!


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