Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “do”

See all translations

do

auxiliary verb  /du/ ( present tense does  /dʌz, dəz/, past tense did  /dɪd/) us  

do auxiliary verb (FOR QUESTIONS/NEGATIVES)

( past participle done  /dʌn/) used with another verb to form questions and negative sentences: Where do you work? Why don’t we have lunch together on Friday? "Didn’t you know Sophie was coming?" "Of course I did." Don’t talk about that. Note: The negative contractions are doesn’t, didn’t, and don’t.

do auxiliary verb (FOR EMPHASIS)

used to give extra force to the main verb: Do be careful. I did say she was a liar, but I was wrong. "Can I buy stamps here?" "Well, we do sell them, but we’re out of them right now."

do auxiliary verb (TO AVOID REPEATING)

( past participle done  /dʌn/) used to avoid repeating a verb or verb phrase: "I don’t like either candidate." "Neither do I." He said he’d leave the car in the garage, but he didn’t. "May I join you?" "Please do!" "Did you leave the door open?" "Yes, I did." ( past participle done  /dʌn/) Do can also replace the main verb in questions that are added to the end of a sentence: You met him at a conference, didn’t you?

do

verb  /du/ ( present tense does  /dʌz, dəz/, past tense did  /dɪd/, past participle done  /dʌn/) us  

do verb (CAUSE TO HAPPEN)

[T] to cause something to happen or be the cause of something happening; perform or have a part in an activity: Inviting the whole family was a really nice thing to do. What are you doing over the weekend? I’ve got to stay home and do my homework. The theater club is doing "South Pacific" this year. I’m sorry, there’s nothing more to be done (= nothing else will help). It isn’t important whether you win or lose – just do your best. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you (= dealing with you). The company is counting on each of you to do your part/share. Would you do me a favor (= help me) and get some bread while you’re out? A little fresh air will do you some good (= make you feel better). What are these toys doing here (= Why are they here)? I’ve been trying to do (= solve) this puzzle for hours. What can I do for you (= How can I help you)? What have you done with my coat (= Where have you put it)? Since she retired, she doesn’t know what to do with herself (= how to keep herself busy). [T] To do can mean to work at as a regular job: "What do you do?" "I teach high school math." [T] If you ask or say how someone is doing, you are asking or saying how the person is feeling or what the person’s condition is: How are you folks doing today? Both the mother and her new baby are doing fine. We’ve had some difficult times, but we’re doing all right now. [T] If you say what’s doing or what’s doing at a particular place, you are asking what is happening there: What’s doing at the office?

do verb (ARRANGE)

[T] to shape, arrange, or fix something in an attractive way: Who does your hair?

do verb (TRAVEL)

[T] to travel at a stated speed or over a particular distance: We were only doing 70 miles per hour. We did 400 miles yesterday.

do verb (BE ACCEPTABLE)

[I] to be acceptable, suitable, or enough: "Will this room do?" "Yes, it’ll be fine." This kind of behavior just won’t do.
Translations of “do”
in Korean 다른 동사와 함께 쓰여 의문문이나 부정문을 만든다, 부가 의문문을 만들때 쓰인다, 이미 사용된 동사의 반복을 피하기 위해 그 대신 쓰인다…
in Arabic فِعل مُساعِد يُستَخدَم في أول الجُملة لِلسؤال بِمعنى: هَل, فِعل مُساعِد يُستَخدَم في آخِر الجُملة لِلسؤال بِمعنى: أليس كّذلِك, فِعل مُساعِد يُستَخدَم لمنع التِكرارفي الجُملة بِمعنى: وأنا أيضا…
in French Je pensais qu’elle ne viendrait pas, mais elle est venue quand même, ”do” s’emploie avec le verbe principal après les mots suivants“seldom”…
in Turkish geniş zaman yardımcı fiili, bir ifade sonunda 'değil mi?' sorusunu yapmak için kullanılır, bir önceki cümledeki fiili kullanmamak için onun yerine kullanılır…
in Italian usato con un altro verbo per formare frasi negative e interrogative, usato alla fine di una frase per renderla interrogativa, usato per evitare di ripetere lo stesso verbo in una frase…
in Chinese (Traditional) 用於疑問句/否定句, (與另一動詞連用構成疑問句和否定句,包括倒裝句,有時因文體原因亦可用於肯定句), (在用來確認資訊的疑問句中代替主要動詞)…
in Russian вспом. гл., используемый при образовании вопрос. и отриц. предложений, используемый при образовании разделит. вопросов…
in Polish (= czasownik posiłkowy służący do tworzenia zdań pytających i zaprzeczonych), (= używany w krótkich pytaniach na końcu zdania, które po polsku tłumaczy się jako prawda? lub nieprawdaż?)…
in Spanish 0, hacer, servir…
in Portuguese usado com outro verbo para formar frases interrogativas e negativas, usado no final de uma frase para formar a forma interrogativa, usado para evitar a repetição de um verbo que já foi usado anteriormente…
in German Hilfsverb in Fragen und bei Verneinung, Hilfsverb zur Betonung, statt Wiederholung des Verbs…
in Catalan s’utilitza amb un altre verb per a formar frases interrogatives i negatives, s’afegeix conjugat al final d’una frase per a convertir-la en una pregunta, s’utilitza per a evitar repetir el verb que s’acaba d’esmentar…
in Japanese (疑問文や否定文で一般動詞の代わりに使われる)~ですか、~ではない, (付加疑問文を作る)~ですね, (動詞の反復を避けるために使う)(人、もの)も/が~だ…
in Chinese (Simplified) 用于疑问句/否定句, (与另一动词连用构成疑问句和否定句,包括倒装句,有时因文体原因亦可用于肯定句), (在用来确认信息的疑问句中代替主要动词)…
(Definition of do from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of do?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “do” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cold snap

a short period of cold weather

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More