Formation of questions and negatives in the simple present tense
We have already seen that some sentences in the simple present tense are formed with the primary auxiliary verb be (is, am, are). It is easy to form their questions and negatives.
Formation of negatives
To form the negatives, put not after is, am or are.
She is a writer. (Affirmative statement)
She is not a writer. (Negative statement)
I am a singer. (Affirmative statement)
I am not a singer. (Negative statement)
They are students. (Affirmative statement)
They are not students. (Negative statement)
That is good. (Affirmative statement)
That is not good. (Negative statement)
Formation of questions
We can form questions by putting the auxiliary verb before the subject.
She is a singer. (Statement)
Is she a singer? (Question)
He is an Italian. (Statement)
Is he an Italian? (Question)
They are our friends.
Are they our friends?
I am a lawyer.
Am I a lawyer?
When there is no auxiliary verb
Most sentences in the simple present tense do not have an auxiliary verb. When there is no auxiliary verb, we use do and does to form questions and negatives. Note that do is used when the subject is a plural noun. It is also used with the pronouns I, you, they and we. Does is used when the subject is a singular noun or a third person singular pronoun (e.g. she, she, it).
Study the following examples.
Ram works at a bank.
Ram does not work at a bank. (Negative) (NOT Ram does not works at a bank.) (NOT Ram works not at a bank.)
Does Ram work at a bank? (Question) (NOT Works Ram at a bank?)
Sonia writes short stories.
Sonia does not write short stories.
Does Sonia write short stories?
He sings well.
He does not sing well.
Does he sing well?
I like reading.
I do not like reading.
Do I like reading?
Those students work hard.
Those students do not work hard.
Do those students work hard?
They live in the city.
They do not live in the city.
Do they live in the city?