1. Marina_Li New Member

    I teach Englsih for a free ESL program, and we are having problems explaining to Spanish speakers what "do" means, and how to use it, as it doesn't translate. These are people with very, very little English. They can say things like "girl", and "I work." Does anyone have any ideas?

    Enseño ingles para una clase gratis, y no puedo explicar el significo y los usos de la palabra “do” a los hablantes de español. Esos estudiantes no saben ingles para nada. Solo saben palabras como “girl”, y “work.” ¿Por favor, tienen ideas?
  2. AntieAnnie Senior Member

    English - USA
    The translation would be hacer, but it's one of those situations where we have two words in English (do and make) for one word in Spanish (hacer). Is that what you mean or are you referring to its use as an auxiliary verb (not sure that's the correct terminology)?
  3. rocstar Senior Member

    Los Mochis
    México - Español-
    Primero debes empezar por hacer que entiendan y aprendan a formar oraciones afirmativas. Ej.
    I drink milk. = Yo bebo leche. We have a car= Tenemos un auto.
    Una vez que pueden formar sus propias oraciones, lo que harás es decirles que para hacer preguntas te ayudarás de una palabra que es un auxiliar que no significa otra cosa que un aviso de que viene una pregunta.

    I drink milk. (Afirmación) Para preguntar pongo antes el auxiliar y ¡listo! se convierte en pregunta. Do I drink milk? Do we have a car?

  4. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    Welcome to the forum, Marina Li.

    The auxiliary do doesn't translate because in modern-day English it serves only a grammatical function. It is used to make something negative ("I do not have one"), to emphasize a positive ("I do (so) have one"), to invert (for example "Do I have one?", "Never do I have one ..."), and to stand in for a verb that is "understood" ("He doesn't have one, but I do", "He has one more than I do").
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In that last sense, it can frequently be translated as hacer, although sometimes it's best to either leave it understood, repeat the implied verb, or rephrase the sentence.

    The difference between "to do" and "to make" is that the former refers to actions in abstract, while the latter generally conveys an idea similar to "building" or "constructing" something concrete.

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