Some people say. "I does what I want to" is this in any way relative to "I always do what I want to" or it's totally wrong to have it so

  • 2
    It's eye dialect, as exemplified in this quote from O'Neill at Voice: Onstage and Off _ Robert Barton, Rocco dal Vera. Not standard English. Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 11:02
  • Indeed. And non standard language has no place in the scientific, artistic pursuit of Etemology. Apologies for being a nerd. I was on the wrong board. ☠️🤓
    – Jesse Ivy
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 19:39

3 Answers 3


No. It is incorrect. "I do what I want" is more straightforward.

Also, recommend against ever leaving the word "to" at the end of a sentence as you did.

And no matter what, do not listen to what people say.


"Does" is the third person present tense conjugation of the verb "to do". The correct conjugation is the first person present tense conjugation "do". Also, one should leave off "to" at the end, or else use the full phrase, so it would be more correct to say, "I do what I want" or "I do what I want to do", although the latter is a bit formal sounding.

  • 1
    Forget the suggestions about leaving the trailing "to" out of the phrase. It depends where it's used. Check it in the search field. A long discussion an examples.on this site.
    – Billeeb
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 15:54
  • 1
    I haven't checked the discussion examples, but I agree that that's the least important thing about the the incorrect grammar of the sentence.
    – Dustin G
    Commented Dec 9, 2017 at 19:25
  • @DustinG That's why it's a comment and not an answer. I commented an unrelated thing, addressed in the answer and unrelated to the question. I agree with you whatsoever.
    – Billeeb
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 11:23

Is this in any way relative to "I always do what I want to"?


Is it totally wrong to have it so?


It is dialectical. It is also a rather recent occurrence. In AAVE, an uninflected does conveys the aspect of habitual action. So yes, it means what you said in AAVE. I do, he do, I does, he does. Once you quit inflecting for tense and person, you end up with a whole roster of leftover irregular verbs you can deploy for grammatical aspect marking. Does is the latest in a series.

  1. E.M. run an gone to Suzie house. (=SE "EM went running to Suzie's house.")

  2. But I does go to see people when they Ø sick. (=SE "But I usually go to see people when they are sick."

  3. De mill bin to Bluffton dem time. (=SE "The mill was in Bluffton in those days.")

Note the characteristically creole absence of past tense and possessive inflections in 6, the absence of linking verb are and the presence of unstressed habitual does in 7, and the use of unstressed bin for past and dem time (without s, but with pluralizing dem) in 8.

Bold mine


The examples are from Gullah creole in South Carolina. This does is a longstanding part of several creoles, but it is relatively new in US urban areas and may not be related to creole usage.

Outside of these dialects, it is just wrong. Standard English doesn't much concern itself with grammatical aspect, but creoles and dialects often repurpose words in order better convey aspect.


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