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Serenity Carr, Assistant Editor
Should I Use Don't or Doesn't?
Friday January 24th 2020
Question
Is it "My feet don't smell" or "My feet doesn't smell"? — May, Philippines
Answer

The correct sentence is "My feet don't smell" because "feet" is a third person plural subject.

When you need to choose between don't and doesn't it helps to know that don't and doesn't are contractions of do not and does not. First, let's look at when to use do and does:

Do is used with first person singular and plural, second person singular and plural, and third person plural subjects: I, we, you, you (all), they.

Does is used only with third person singular subjects: he, she, it.

Therefore:

Don't is used with first person singular and plural, second person singular and plural, and third person plural subjects: I, we, you, you (all), they.

Doesn't is used only with third person singular subjects: he, she, it.

 

Remember that things like a person's name, an object, or a place are third person subjects.

For example, John is a third person singular subject, like he. We would say "John doesn't smell."

Book is also a third person singular subject, like it. We would say "The book doesn’t smell."

Feet is a third person plural subject (like "they"). So we say "My feet don't smell."

 

I hope this helps.

 

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