Meaning of DO in English
I. do 1 S1 W1 /duː/ BrE AmE auxiliary verb ( past tense did /dɪd/, past participle done /dʌn/, third person singular does /dəz; strong dʌz/)
[ Language: Old English ; Origin: don ]
a) used with another verb to form questions or negatives:
Do you like bananas?
I don’t feel like going out tonight.
Ian didn’t answer.
Where do you live?
Doesn’t Rosie look wonderful?
Don’t listen to her!
b) spoken used to form ↑ question tag s (=short questions that you add to the end of statements) :
You know Tony, don’t you?
She didn’t understand, did she?
2 . used instead of repeating a verb that has already been used:
‘Will Kay come?’ ‘She may do.’
So now you know as much as I do.
‘You forgot all about it.’ ‘No, I didn’t.’
‘I want to go home.’ ‘So do I.’
I didn’t believe the story and neither did he.
3 . used to emphasize the main verb in a sentence:
Do be careful.
You do look nice in that hat.
I do think she’s behaved badly.
‘You should have warned me.’ ‘But I did warn you.’
He owns, or did own (=emphasizing past tense) , a yacht.
4 . spoken used when politely offering someone something:
Do have another sandwich.
II. do 2 S1 W1 BrE AmE verb ( past tense did , past participle done , third person singular does )
[ Word Family: verb : ↑ do , ↑ outdo , ↑ overdo , ↑ redo , ↑ undo ; noun : ↑ deed ≠ ↑ misdeed , ↑ do , ↑ doing ; adjective : ↑ done , ↑ overdone , ↑ undone ]
1 . ACTION/ACTIVITY [transitive] to perform an action or activity:
Have you done your homework yet?
You need to do more exercise.
It’s a pleasure doing business with you.
I didn’t know what to do.
All he does is sit in front of the television all day.
do something/nothing/anything etc
We should do something to help him.
It all happened so quickly that I couldn’t do anything about it.
bored teenagers with nothing to do
do the laundry/ironing/dishes etc
It’s your turn to do the dishes.
In written English, people often use the verb act rather than the phrase do something , as it sounds more formal:
The government needs to act to help these people.
2 . SUCCEED [intransitive] used to ask or talk about how successful someone is at something
Students are under considerable pressure to do well.
how somebody/something is doing (with/in something)
You should get promoted after about a year, depending on how you’re doing.
How’s he doing in trying to give up smoking?
3 . HAVE AN EFFECT [transitive] to have a particular effect on something or someone:
The scandal will do serious damage to his reputation.
This will do nothing for (=will not improve) Jamie’s confidence.
The colour does nothing for her (=does not improve her appearance) .
Getting the job has done a lot for (=had a good effect on) her self-esteem.
A week in the countryside will do you good (=make you feel better) .
Exercise can do wonders for (=have a very good effect on) body, mind, and spirit.
4 . JOB [transitive] to have a particular job:
What do you want to do after you leave school?
What do you do for a living (=as your job) ?
She’s very good at what she does.
5 . ENOUGH/ACCEPTABLE [intransitive, transitive not in progressive] used to say that something will be enough or be acceptable:
We don’t have a lot of wine for the party, but it should just about do.
I can’t find my black shoes so these will have to do.
A few sandwiches will do me for lunch.
It won’t do (=it is not acceptable) to say that the situation couldn’t have been avoided.
6 . what somebody will do for something used to talk about what arrangements someone has made to get something they need:
What will you do for money if you leave your job?
I’m not sure what we’ll do for transport yet.
7 . what is somebody/something doing? spoken used to ask why someone or something is in a particular place or doing a particular thing, especially when you are surprised or annoyed by this:
What’s my coat doing on the floor?
What are you doing walking around at this time of night?
What on earth do you think you’re doing?
8 . do your/sb’s hair/nails/make-up etc to do something that improves your appearance or someone else’s appearance:
It must take her ages to do her make-up in the mornings.
Who does your hair?
9 . SPEND TIME [transitive] informal to spend a period of time doing something:
She did a year backpacking around the world.
Oh yes, I certainly did my time in the army (=spent time in the army) .
10 . STUDY [transitive not in passive] British English to study a particular subject in a school or university:
I did French for five years.
11 . COOK [transitive] to cook a particular type of food:
I was thinking of doing a casserole tonight.
12 . do 10 miles/20 kms etc to achieve a particular distance, speed etc:
We did 300 kilometres on the first day.
The car can do 120 mph.
13 . PROVIDE A SERVICE [transitive] to provide a particular service or sell a particular product:
They do interior and exterior design.
We don’t do food after two o'clock.
14 . PERFORM A PLAY [transitive] to perform a particular play, show etc:
We did ‘Guys and Dolls’ last year.
15 . DECORATE [transitive] to paint or decorate a room, house etc:
How are you going to do your living room?
16 . BEHAVE [intransitive] to behave in a particular way:
In the evenings students are free to do as they please (=do what they want) .
I wish you’d do as you’re told (=do what you are told to do) !
17 . somebody doesn’t do nice/funny/sensible etc spoken informal used humorously to say that someone cannot or does not behave in a particular way:
Sensible? I don’t do sensible.
18 . COPY BEHAVIOUR [transitive] to copy someone’s behaviour or the way they talk, especially in order to entertain people:
He does a brilliant George Bush (=copies him in a very funny way) .
19 . do lunch/do a movie etc informal to have lunch, go to see a film etc with someone:
Let’s do lunch next week.
20 . DRUGS [transitive] informal to use an illegal drug:
He says he’s never done hard drugs in his life.
21 . VISIT [transitive] to visit a particular place, especially as a tourist:
Let’s do the Eiffel Tower today.
22 . that’ll do! spoken used to tell a child to stop behaving badly
23 . that does it! spoken used to say angrily that you will not accept a situation any more:
Right, that does it! I’m not going to listen to any more of this!
24 . that should do it ( also that ought to do it ) spoken used to say that you will have finished doing something if you just do one more thing:
I’ve just got to prepare the dessert and that should do it.
25 . do it informal to have sex – used humorously or when you want to avoid saying the word ‘sex’
26 . somebody would do well to do something used to advise someone that they should do something:
Most people would do well to reduce the amount of salt in their diet.
27 . PUNISH [transitive] British English spoken to punish or attack someone ⇨ be/get done at ↑ done 2 (8)
28 . DECEIVE [transitive] British English informal to deceive or trick someone ⇨ be done at ↑ done 2 (7)
29 . what’s doing ...? spoken used to ask what is happening:
What’s doing at your place tonight?
30 . do or die used to say that someone is determined to do something very brave or dangerous even if they die attempting it
31 . how (are) you doing? spoken used when you meet someone to ask them if they are well, happy etc:
Hi Bob, how you doing?
32 . what can I do you for? spoken used humorously to ask someone how you can help them, especially when you are trying to sell them something
33 . do well by somebody to treat someone well:
His relations always did pretty well by him.
34 . do one spoken informal used to tell someone who is making you feel upset or angry to go away:
Oh, just go and do one!
⇨ ↑ doing , ↑ done 2 , ⇨ do your bit at ↑ bit 2 (8), ⇨ how do you do at ↑ how (11), ⇨ nothing doing at ↑ nothing 1 (14), ⇨ do somebody proud at ↑ proud (5), ⇨ do something to death at ↑ death (4), ⇨ ↑ can-do
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)
■ do + NOUN
▪ do a job/task
On Saturdays I usually do a few jobs around the house.
▪ do some/any/ no etc work
She was feeling too tired to do any work.
▪ do the shopping/cleaning/ironing/cooking etc
Who does the cooking in your family?
▪ do the housework (=jobs in your home such as cleaning, washing clothes etc)
I’ve been doing the housework all day.
▪ do the dishes ( also do the washing-up British English ) (=wash the plates after a meal)
Will anyone help me do the washing-up?
▪ do the laundry ( also do the washing British English ) (=wash dirty clothes)
Ellie was doing the washing.
▪ do your homework
My parents don’t let me go out unless I’ve done my homework.
▪ do a calculation/sum (=use numbers to find out a figure, price etc)
I did a quick calculation on a piece of paper.
▪ do business (=buy and sell goods, or provide services)
The company does a lot of business in China.
▪ do something/nothing/anything
He lay on the sofa and did nothing all day.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 3)
■ do + NOUN
▪ do some/any/no good (=improve a situation)
It might do some good if you talk to him about the problem.
The fresh air has done me good.
▪ do somebody good (=make someone feel better)
▪ not do (somebody) any harm also do (somebody) no harm (=not have a bad effect on something or someone)
One or two chocolate cookies won’t do you any harm.
▪ do damage (to something/somebody)
A mistake like that can do a lot of damage to your career.
▪ do a lot for something (=have a good effect on something)
The new leisure centre has done a lot for the town’s image.
▪ do nothing for something (=not have a good effect on something)
Being apart for so long did nothing for our relationship.
▪ do nothing for somebody (=used to say that particular clothes, colours etc do not suit someone)
I liked the dress but it did nothing for me.
▪ do wonders for something (=have a very good effect on something)
A new haircut can do wonders for your self-confidence.
▪ do more harm than good (=used to say that something had a bad effect rather than a good one)
I followed his advice but it did more harm than good.
• • •
▪ do to do something – used in the following phrases: do your work/homework etc :
It usually takes me a couple of hours to do my homework.
| do the shopping/cooking/washing etc :
She’s gone to the supermarket to do the shopping.
| do a test/experiment/some research :
The doctor did some tests.
Fraser spent some time in Egypt doing some archaeological research.
Scientists are doing research on two types of vaccine.
| do a course :
Have you decided which course you want to do at university?
▪ make to do something – used in the following phrases: make a speech :
The Prince made a short speech.
| make a comment/suggestion/joke :
Can I make a suggestion?
| make a decision :
The committee will meet to make their final decision.
| make a mistake :
I think someone has made a mistake.
▪ give to do something – used in the following phrases: give a talk/speech/lecture :
They’ve asked him to give a talk.
| give a performance :
The band gave a brilliant performance.
▪ take to do something – used in the following phrases: take a test/exam :
Kate’s taking her driving test tomorrow.
| take a bath/shower :
I think I’ll go and take a shower.
| take a walk :
Normally, he took a walk in the evenings.
▪ commit to do something that is a crime, especially a serious crime: commit a crime :
The crime was committed in the early hours of the morning.
| commit a robbery/murder etc :
Dixon later admitted committing the robbery.
▪ carry out something to do something – used in the following phrases: carry out your work :
The violence is making it difficult for firefighters to carry out their work.
| carry out a task/duty :
He still managed to carry out his duties.
| carry out a survey/test/some research :
The hospital carries out research into skin diseases.
| carry out an operation :
The operation was carried out at a hospital in Paris.
| carry out a threat/promise :
They didn’t carry out their threat to kill the hostages.
| carry out sb’s orders/instructions/wishes :
I’m sure I can rely on you to carry out my instructions.
▪ perform to do something. Perform is more formal than carry out , and is used in the following phrases: perform a task/duty :
The job mostly involves performing administrative tasks.
| perform an operation :
A team of surgeons performed the operation.
▪ conduct to do something – used in the following phrases: conduct a survey/study/experiment :
They conducted a survey of approximately 2,000 people living in the area.
| conduct an inquiry/investigation :
The police are conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire.
| conduct an interview :
Knowing how to conduct a successful interview is a skill.
| conduct a campaign :
People were unimpressed by the way in which the election campaign was conducted.
▪ go about something to do your work or the things that you usually do, especially when something serious has happened: go about your work/business :
The next day she went about her business as if nothing had happened.
▪ get on with something spoken especially British English to start doing something that you should have started already or to continue doing something that you stopped doing for a short time:
I need to get on with my homework.
▪ be up to something spoken to be doing something that you think is probably bad, although you do not know exactly what it is:
I’m sure they’re up to something.
What’s Jake up to? He’s been upstairs in his room all day.
do away with somebody/something phrasal verb
1 . to get rid of something or stop using it:
People thought that the use of robots would do away with boring low-paid factory jobs.
2 . informal to kill someone
do somebody ↔ down phrasal verb
to criticize someone, especially in an unfair way:
I know you don’t like him, but there’s no need to keep doing him down in front of the boss.
do for somebody/something phrasal verb
British English informal to kill someone or harm something or someone very badly:
Working 100 hours a week nearly did for me.
⇨ be done for at ↑ done 2 (3)
do somebody in phrasal verb informal
1 . to kill someone:
He was planning to do himself in.
2 . to make someone feel extremely tired:
That walk really did me in.
⇨ done in at ↑ done 2 (4)
do something ↔ out phrasal verb British English
1 . to make a room look nice by decorating it:
The room was beautifully done out in pastel colours.
2 . informal to clean a room or cupboard thoroughly
do somebody out of something phrasal verb informal
to dishonestly stop someone from getting or keeping something, especially something they have a right to have:
Are you trying to do me out of a job?
do somebody/something over phrasal verb
1 . do something ↔ over especially American English to make a place look attractive by decorating it:
The whole apartment had been done over in an Art Deco style.
2 . American English to do something again, especially because you did it wrong the first time:
If you make too many mistakes, you’ll have to do it over.
3 . do something ↔ over British English spoken informal to steal things from a building
4 . British English spoken informal to attack and injure someone
do up phrasal verb
1 . to fasten something, or to be fastened in a particular way
do something ↔ up
Do up your coat or you’ll get cold.
a skirt which does up at the back
2 . do something ↔ up to repair an old building or car, or to improve its appearance:
They did up an old cottage in the Scottish Highlands.
3 . do something ↔ up to decorate something in a particular way:
The apartment was done up in Viennese style.
4 . do something ↔ up to wrap something in paper
5 . do yourself up to make yourself look neat and attractive:
Sue spent ages doing herself up.
do with something phrasal verb
1 . could do with something spoken to need or want something:
I could have done with some help this morning.
2 . have/be to do with somebody/something to be about something, be related to something, or be involved with something:
Their conversation had been largely to do with work.
I’m sorry about the accident, but it’s nothing to do with me (=I am not involved in any way) .
This question doesn’t have anything to do with the main topic of the survey.
I’m sure her problems have something to do with what happened when she was a child.
3 . what to do with yourself how to spend your time:
She didn’t know what to do with herself after she retired.
4 . what somebody should do with something/what to do with something etc used to ask or talk about how someone should deal with something:
What shall I do with these papers?
I wouldn’t know what to do with a newborn baby.
5 . what has somebody done with something? spoken used to ask where someone has put something:
What have you done with the remote for the TV?
6 . what is somebody doing with something? used to ask why someone has something:
What are you doing with my diary?
7 . I can’t be doing with something British English spoken used to say that you are annoyed by something and do not want to have to think about it:
I can’t be doing with all this right now.
do without phrasal verb
1 . do without (something) to live or do something without a particular thing:
I don’t have any sugar so you’ll have to do without.
You can do without a carpet but you’ve got to have somewhere to sit.
2 . can do without something used to say that something is annoying you or causing you problems:
You can do without all that hassle.
Those are the type of stupid remarks I can do without.
III. do 3 BrE AmE noun ( plural dos or do’s ) [countable]
[ Word Family: verb : ↑ do , ↑ outdo , ↑ overdo , ↑ redo , ↑ undo ; noun : ↑ deed ≠ ↑ misdeed , ↑ do , ↑ doing ; adjective : ↑ done , ↑ overdone , ↑ undone ]
1 . informal a party or other social event:
We’re having a do to celebrate his 30th birthday.
2 . dos and don’ts ( also do’s and don’ts ) things that you should and should not do in a particular situation:
The booklet lists the dos and don’ts of caring for dogs.
3 . American English informal a ↑ hairdo
• • •
▪ party a social event when a lot of people meet together to enjoy themselves by eating, drinking, dancing etc:
We’re having a party for Sarah’s 40th birthday.
I met my boyfriend at a party.
▪ get-together an informal party:
Christmas is the perfect time for a family get-together.
▪ ball a large formal party where people dance:
the end of term ball
▪ rave a large party which is held outside or in an empty building, where people dance to music and take illegal drugs
▪ reception a large formal party, especially one after a wedding or to welcome an important person:
The wedding reception is at a nearby hotel.
a reception for the Thai Foreign Minister
They attended a White House reception to mark the Queen’s visit.
▪ function a large formal or official party:
He has been asked to play at many corporate functions (=an official party held by a company) .
▪ celebration a party or special event that is organized in order to celebrate something:
the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations
It was a 21st birthday celebration which Mary would never forget.
▪ bash informal a party, especially a big one that a lot of famous people go to – used especially in journalism:
the star’s birthday bash
a picture of him at a Hollywood bash
a showbiz bash
▪ do British English informal a party:
We’re having a do to celebrate Margaret’s birthday.
▪ dinner party a party where people are invited to someone’s house for an evening meal:
I met him at a dinner party.
▪ house-warming (party) a party that you have when you move into a new house:
We’re having a house-warming next week.
▪ cocktail party ( also drinks party British English ) a party that people go to in order to talk and have a drink together for a few hours
▪ fancy-dress party British English , costume party American English a party where people dress in special clothes, for example to look like a famous person or a character in a story
▪ hen party especially British English a social event just before a wedding, for a woman who is getting married and her female friends
▪ stag night British English , bachelor party American English a social event just before a wedding, for a man who is getting married and his male friends
▪ baby/wedding shower American English an event at which people give presents to a woman who is going to have a baby or get married
IV. do 4 /dəʊ $ doʊ/ BrE AmE noun [singular, uncountable]
another spelling of doh
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012