Lesson Seven

Special Uses for the Verb “Do”

 The verb “do” is a little confusing. Not only is it a helping verb, it’s a main verb as well. For example, to ask someone about his or her job, say…

“What do you do?”

The first verb in that question is a helping verb, do; the second verb in that question is the main verb, do.


Q: What do you do? arrow A: I’m a cashier.

It’s interesting to note that the answer does not require the verb do. In this case the answer uses the verb be.

Q: What do you do at work? arrow A: I help customers.

Q: What do you do everyday? arrow A: I go to school.

What did they do?

They got married.

They do married. No!


What is he doing?

He’s smoking.

He’s doing smoking. No!


But sometimes “do” is used as the main verb.

In fact, “do” is a very popular main verb for some activities. It can be used for exercising, studying, cleaning, working, and other general behaviors.

Video and examples below:

What is he doing?

He’s doing some exercises.

What does he do every day?

He exercises. / He does exercises.


He does a lot of exercising.

man doing aerobics

How does she stay healthy?

She does a lot of bicycling.

What does she do every day?

She rides her bike.


She does a lot of biking.

woman on bike

What is she doing?

She’s cleaning the bathroom.


She’s doing some cleaning.

She does a lot of cleaning at home on the weekend.

woman cleaning bathroom

What is he doing?

He’s vacuuming.


He’s doing some vacuuming.

man vacuuming

What is she doing?

She’s working on her laptop.


She’s doing some work on her laptop. (laptop=computer)

woman laptop

What are they doing?

They’re washing the dishes.


They’re doing the dishes.


Next: Lesson Eight many and much