I am trying to understand the grammar behind using "do not" vs "does not".

Consider the following sentences.

1a. The way items are added to the cart does not guarantee an order. vs

1b. The way items are added to the cart do not guarantee an order.

2a. We will skip the entries that do not match vs

2b. We will skip the entries that does not match

closed as off-topic by Edwin Ashworth, Mari-Lou A, FumbleFingers, Andrew Leach Aug 23 '15 at 21:48

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'Does' is only used in singular, third person. In other cases, 'do' is used. (The addition of 'not' does not matter.)

Therefore, 1a. and 2a. are correct. In the first sentence, 'the way' is the subject - hence the singular form ('does') is used. In the second sentence, 'the entries' is plural so you need the plural form 'do'.

  • As Reg Dwight has said, '[W]e write stuff in comments that is too obvious to qualify for an answer. [This] is not really a topic for a site for linguists and etymologists, and we don't want it to become a topic.' – Edwin Ashworth Aug 21 '15 at 20:37
  • @EdwinAshworth, What was your comment in reference to? – Pacerier Sep 27 '15 at 13:53
  • @Pacerier This question is not suitable for ELU, not because it is not important to know the grammar involved, but because that grammar is very basic. – Edwin Ashworth Sep 29 '15 at 9:47
  • Aren't basics important enough to be asked here? Stackoverflow sounds too arrogant at times. BTW google led me here when I searched 'do' vs 'does'. – iuq Sep 14 '16 at 4:54

The use of "do" and "does" auxiliary verbs depend on two factors; 1st is Subject and 2nd is tense ( only present simple tense). If Subject be third person singular number then aux.verb will be "does" and for other person and number it will always be "do".

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