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Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
Should I use "don't" or "doesn't"?
Friday January 18th 2019
Question
Should it be "doctors don't" or "doctors doesn't"? — Josey, United States
Answer

The words don't and doesn’t are contractions of do not and does not. The verb do changes to does when the subject is third person singular.  In all other cases it is do. This is shown in the chart below.

With a third person singular subject, the verb do becomes does:

 

singular

plural

1st person

I do

we do

2nd person 

you do

you (all) do

3rd person

he/she/it does 

they do

 

Since doctors is third person plural, like they, the correct choice is do. The contraction for do not is don’t. Below are some examples.

  • The doctors don't always get holidays off work.
  • They do like to relax on their days off.
  • The doctors do get scheduled lunch breaks.
  • They don’t usually know how many patients they'll see in a week.

 

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