Students often confuse the verbs to do and to be when asking questions. What’s the difference between Do you…? and Are you…?

Here is a quick guide on how to choose the right verb, right away.

First, let’s study TO DO.

When you want to ask about an action in the present, use do or does.

DO/DOES + Subject + Verb (S. Present) + Object


  • Do you like to travel?
  • Where do they want to go?
  • Does the store sell office furniture?
  • What does he need to buy?

And that’s it! Any time you want to ask about a verb in the simple present, use does for he/she/it and do for all other subjects.

Now, let’s look at the verb TO BE.

AM/IS/ARE + Subject + Noun

The be verb has more abilities than the do verb.

Use be with nouns.


  • Are you a studentAre you in CaliforniaAre you a good cook?
  • Is he the boss?
  • Am I in your class?

AM/IS/ARE + Subject + Adjective

Use be with an adjective.


  • Are you hungryAre you comfortable at your desk? Are you interested in science fiction movies?
  • Is she sick today?
  • Amlate for your appointment?

AM/IS/ARE + Subject+ Verb+ING (Present Continuous)

Finally, use the be verb before a verb in the continuous form (ING).


  • Are you listening to the presentation?
  • Is he working late tonight?
  • Are they bringing any snacks to the meeting?
  • Is your phone battery charging right now?

So there you have it. I hope you find this information useful. Now try asking some questions with Do you…? and Are you…and see how it works for you!



4 thoughts on “Do You or Are You? Choosing the Correct Verb When Asking Questions in the Present Tense

  1. Thank you very much! These information really help me to understand the difference between are and do, I really want to thanks who did this great explanation 🙏🏼

    1. You are very welcome! I am so glad it helped you. If you subscribe to the website, I will send you a bonus practice activity of 100 DO/BE questions PDF. Follow along for more amazing grammar lessons, designed just for you!

  2. Great post on the use of do or are with you. My writer was of the view ‘that it doesn’t matter to use “do you listening to the teacher” or “are you listening to the teacher” but know thanks to your post, she has a clear mind now.

    1. I’m so happy it helped her understand the difference between do you and are you. Thank you for letting me know!

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