Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Doesn’t and Don’t

Doesn’t vs Don’t

What is the difference between ‘doesn’t’ and ‘don’t’? In terms of intended meaning of these two words, there is no difference. The difference in the usage of these words lies in grammar. Often times, ‘don’t’ is used in place of ‘doesn’t’ and that is grammatically incorrect. For example the sentence: She don’t know proper English grammar is incorrect. It should read: She doesn’t know proper English grammar, or I don’t know proper English grammar.

The word ‘doesn’t’ is a contraction, or a shortened form of ‘does not’. This makes it the negative form of ‘does’, the third person singular of the verb ‘to do’. ‘Does’ is always used with singular nouns or with the singular pronouns he, she or it. For example, it is correct to say: “She does wash the dishes every night after dinner.” or “The dog does eat the leftovers.” To make these sentences negative, ‘not’ is added after ‘does’. “She does not wash the dishes every night after dinner.” or “The dog does not eat the leftovers.” A contraction makes the words easier to say. “She doesn’t wash the dishes every night after dinner.” or “The dog doesn’t eat the leftovers.” The ‘o’ from the ‘not’ is removed and replaced with an apostrophe. This turns the two words into one. While it is entirely appropriate to use contractions in written English, they are more common in spoken English because of ease of use.

The word ‘don’t’ is likewise a contraction of ‘do’ and ‘not’. It is the negative form of the first and second person or the third person plural of the verb ‘to do’. It is used with plural nouns and the pronouns I, we, you and they. For example: “I do wash the dishes every night after dinner”, “You do wash the dishes every night after dinner.”, “They do wash the dishes every night after dinner” or “The dogs do eat the leftovers.” The negative form with the contraction of ‘do’ and ‘not’ into ‘don’t’ would be: “I don’t wash the dishes every night after dinner.”, “You don’t wash the dishes every night after dinner.”, “They don’t wash the dishes every night after dinner.” or “The dogs don’t eat the leftovers.”

So the meaning of the words ‘doesn’t’ and ‘don’t’ are essentially the same and the usage is similar; however the usage depends entirely on the tense. It is important to know the subject of the sentence and use the correct form of these words to be grammatically correct.


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1 Comment

  1. Actually, who among us for whom English is their first language doesn’t already know all these things?

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