“Don’t You” vs. “Do You Not” – Difference Explained (Helpful Examples)

The phrases “don’t you” and “do you not” are almost identical in meaning. We can use them depending on the tone that we’re writing with, and this article will look into which is better to use.

Should I Use “Don’t You” Or “Do You Not”?

You should use “do you not” when writing formally, especially in professional senses, like in meetings or on emails (i.e., “do you not see the results from our last study?”). You should use “don’t you” when writing informally as it uses the contraction “don’t.”

Should I Use "Don't You" Or "Do You Not"?

While “don’t” is a contracted form of “do not,” that doesn’t mean the same structure applies here.

If the same structure applied, the following would be true:

  • Don’t you?
  • Do not you?

Of course, we’re not saying “do not you” when we write it in this way. We’re simply saying:

  • Do you not?

Where the “you” has been put to the end of the contraction instead.

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Is “Don’t You” Or “Do You Not” Used The Most?

It might help you to look into which of the two phrases is used the most. Since their synonymous and interchangeable, you’ll often find that the phrase that’s used more often is the one you’ll want to focus more energy on learning.

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “don’t you” is used much more frequently than “do you not.” It’s been made especially popular in the last two decades, which shows that informal language is slowly rising above the typical formal counterparts.

Is "Don't You" Or "Do You Not" Used The Most?

Examples Of How To Use “Don’t You” In A Sentence

While “don’t you” is informal, we can still use it more often than not (hence why it’s so popular on the graph). To demonstrate this, we’ll include some examples of how it looks.

  1. Don’t you wish you could do something about this terrible weather?
  2. Don’t you understand what I’m trying to tell you?
  3. Don’t you think you’ve gone a bit too far this time, Red?
  4. Don’t you need me anymore?
  5. Don’t you want to explore the pyramids with me?
  6. Don’t you have to be somewhere before noon?
  7. Don’t you forget that we’ve got an expensive restaurant booked for tonight!

We can use “don’t you” as a contracted form of “do you not.” It works best when a verb follows it directly (like “wish” and “understand”). This verb is then used as a question to ask whether someone would like to do something or not.

Examples Of How To Use “Do You Not” In A Sentence

“Do you not” works in much the same way. It’s just the uncontracted and more formal choice of the two. We use it to ask questions, and we can do so in the following ways.

  1. Do you not think that it would be wise for you to stop doing these foolish things?
  2. What do you not like about the things I’ve delivered for you today?
  3. Do you not see the same things that I see?
  4. Do you not agree with me about these matters?
  5. Do you not understand the predicament that we’re in right now?
  6. Do you not need to tell them what you did earlier today?
  7. Do you not have to be somewhere already?

“Do you not” needs a verb to follow it for it to make sense. It’s another type of question we can ask somebody to check whether they’d like to do something or whether there’s something else they’d rather do.

Is It “Don’t You Know” Or “Do You Not Know”?

Now that we’ve seen examples of both, it’s clear that a verb must follow both phrases to be grammatically correct.

There’s one verb that we want to focus on a bit more intensively, and that is “know.” The phrases “don’t you know” and “do you not know” are both correct, but is one used more than the other?

According to Google Ngram Viewer, “don’t you know” is used more commonly than “do you not know,” making it the more appropriate choice in almost all cases in English writing.

don't you know or do you not know

Most people prefer using “don’t you” because it’s quick to write down and sounds much less pretentious.

While “do you not” is technically the correct sentence structure, “don’t you” is by far the more popular choice because it gets straight to the point and is easier for reading comprehension.

Which Is Correct: “You Do, Do You” Or “You Do, Don’t You”?

We might also come across these two phrases:

  • You do, do you?
  • You do, don’t you?

They are both correct; however, they are used in different ways. Let’s look into what they mean and how we can use them to make sure we don’t get them wrong in the future.

“You do, do you” works when we want to show minor surprise to the response or want of someone to “do” something. “You do, don’t you” works when we want to show uncertainty about something or show that we’re uneasy about the potential answer.

Simply stating what they mean isn’t always enough, so these examples will help you to understand them in practice.

  • I know more than you do about this matter.
  • You do, do you? Do you forget that I have a degree in this field?

Here, “you do, do you” is a surprised response. In this case, we mean that we’re surprised that somebody even had the audacity to come up with something so ridiculous to say to us.

  • I know what I need to do, but I don’t know if I have the strength to do it.
  • You do, don’t you? Well, please be careful, whatever you choose.

“You do, don’t you” is more uncertain. We use it when we know what the other person might be doing or planning, but we’re not happy about the possible outcome, or we’re not sure what they’re going to do about it.

Is “Don’t You” Informal?

“Don’t you” is informal because it uses the contracted form of “do not.” We use contractions mostly informally because they’re quicker to write and easier to read. However, in business and professional contexts, it’s usually better to leave the contractions.

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