Is it the same thing?

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  • kalyson

    Member
    USA English
    You could say:

    "Do you know what that means?"

    "Do you know what it means?"

    "Do they know what it means?"

    "Do we know what that means?" ("it" or "that" -- either one is ok.)
     

    muycuriosa

    Senior Member
    German, Germany
    You can't, you have to say: 'What does 'apple' mean'?

    The reason is:
    If you want to form a question or negate a statement, you have to use 'to do' together with the verb, e.g. to eat, to live, to consider .... (The only exception is 'to be'.)

    Examples:
    Where do you live?
    What does he eat for breakfast?
    He doesn't eat bread.
    They don't love their children.
    Exception: Where is he? ('to do' not necessary)

    I suppose English people 'want' their real verb to be after the subject - even in questions- , so they put a form of 'to do' before the subject.

    In your sentence 'apple' is the subject; 'what' is not the subject.

    I hope that has helped you a bit and not confused you.
     

    muycuriosa

    Senior Member
    German, Germany
    And another thing:

    When you use 'to do', the 'real' verb after it is in the infinitive - so you don't use an -s in the third person singular. In a way, you've got the -s already in 'does'!
     
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