Who Doesn’t or Who Don’t – Which Is Correct?

Knowing how to use the auxiliary verbs “doesn’t” and “don’t” can be confusing because although they are different, they essentially mean the same thing. This article looks at exactly how you can use the terms and explains the difference between them.

Who Doesn’t or Who Don’t – Which Is Correct?

The terms “who doesn’t” and “who don’t” are perfectly correct and have the same meaning. The term “who doesn’t” is the 3rd person singular form used for “he/she/it.” Whereas “who don’t” is used for everything else, including “I/we/they” or any plural subject.

who doesn't or who don't

The terms “who doesn’t” and “who don’t” are common in relative clauses and questions. The first asks about and discusses singular subjects such as “he/she/it”, whilst “who don’t” refers to plural subjects or the pronouns “I/we/they.”

Here is a list of common ways in which the two phrases are used:

As questions: In these questions, you are essentially asking, “which ones from the group?”

  • Who doesn’t know what they are supposed to be doing?
  • Who doesn’t have the application form with them?
  • Who doesn’t like pizza?
  • Who doesn’t want to come?

The following examples are statements rather than questions:

  • Those of you who don’t know what they are supposed to be doing, please ask.
  • Someone who doesn’t deserve a second chance is Mikey.
  • Everyone who doesn’t hand in their work will fail.
  • Anyone who doesn’t hand in their work will fail.
  • People who don’t want to come are free to stay at home.

As you can see in these examples, the only ones that use “don’t” are the ones that start with “people” and “those”, which are both plural subjects.

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Who Doesn’t

The term “doesn’t” is the 3rd person singular form of “do not” and is used to refer to singular subjects or the pronouns “he/she/it.”

The word “doesn’t” is also used when asking questions to a group with the words like “someone”, “anyone”, and “everyone” because although you are addressing a group, you are asking for “one” from within the group.

Here are some examples of how “who doesn’t” appears in a sentence:

  1. Anyone who doesn’t agree with me can see me after class.
  2. If I can find someone who doesn’t have anything to do later, I might go out.
  3. She is the one who doesn’t have a car, so we should pick her up.
  4. Who doesn’t have a pen? I will lend you one if you need it.

Who Don’t

The term “who don’t” refers to single subjects or the pronouns “I/we/they.” It can be used in questions and relative clauses as long as the thing you are referring to is singular.

It is often combined with words such as “those”, “people”, or any other word that indicates a plural quantity.

Here are some examples of “who don’t” in a sentence:

  1. Could the people who don’t need a car parking space please let me know.
  2. I would like all those who don’t agree with the plan to speak up now.
  3. John and Mary, who don’t speak French, are going to live in France. (Here, we use “don’t” because it is the same as “they.”
  4. Those are the girls who don’t want to go. (This refers to more than one girl; the word “those” refers to one group of girls who would take the pronoun “they.”

Final Thoughts

The terms “who doesn’t” and “who don’t” are both perfectly correct and are widely used. “Who doesn’t” refers to singular subjects, and the pronouns “he/she/it.” In contrast, “who don’t” refers to “I/we/they” or any plural subject.