What time [does x do] your family cook their dinner?

Qual frase está correta: What time does your family cook their dinner? / What time do your family cook their dinner?

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Avatar do usuário PPAULO 36010 4 32 631
I agreed with that, but it has to be a distinction as whether the family members are acting in unison (simultaneously) or if we are thinking of them as "going solo" (individually/action restricted to every one of them).

My family does not give me permission to be outside after 10pm. (example from ell.stackexchange.com), "does" is used because we think of it as "everyone of the family" acting in unison. It´s would be a "concerted action/somehow agreed upon action" whether all member live under the same roof or not.

In the example "The class does not like Ms Kolzik; they think she is a mean teacher." It´s about the feeling that is thought as "in unison" So, one use DOES here.

To make a disctinction, that is, to say that not "everyone" of the class like Ms. Kolzik, the native would problably use "Students do not like Ms Kolzik; they think she is a mean teacher."
This mean that in the second sentence, if a single student don´t think she is mean then the author can´t say that "the class" is unanimous in that feeling.

With that, I take it back that "their" has to be about a group in this case. It goes with the thought whether you think about your family in terms of unanimity (or acting as a whole) or individualy.

Anyway, I should say that most of the time, family-as-unity-wise people use DOES. And to avoid ambiguity they would say "family members" for instance, to talk about individual action (then DO would go along with it.)

https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions ... do-or-does

It´s really an interesting and sometimes tricky issue, he hee.
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Avatar do usuário PPAULO 36010 4 32 631
Hi there!
My one hint:
Both sentences (correctly) have the possessive pronoun "their", that suggests something...and that something has to do with the verb DO/DOES (verb conjugation when making questions), and also to do with the word FAMILY.
Avatar do usuário Marcio_Farias 12280 1 21 206
According to Google, native speakers of American English use--almost without exception--'does' as they see 'family' as a unit that takes a singular verb. Native speakers of British English, however, have consistently used 'do' but have 'suffered' from AmE's undermining influence. So overhearing a NSBE ask 'Does your family...?' will not come as a surprise any more.

Americans almost also use 'does' to refer to companies.

Does Macrosoft secretly hate Hardsoft?
What secrets does IBM hold?

For the British, individual companies and firms take 'do.'

Do Macrosoft...?
What secrets do IBM...?
Avatar do usuário Marcio_Farias 12280 1 21 206
Good post, PPAULO.

At the end of its beautifully worded presentation, the stackexchange forum reminds users of English to rewrite the sentence "My family does not give me[...]" to read "My family members do not give me[...]" in order to avoid the "do-or-does" problem.

Still, we may give rewording Dorothy's sentence to "What time does your family dinner (usually) get served?" a try, but solely holding on to the auxiliary does as the only workaround to the "do-or-does" problem may not answer her question. Or will it? Dinner anyone? :)
Avatar do usuário PPAULO 36010 4 32 631
Yes, a rewording could be used, it would be a way to fully circumvent the difficult.
It´s that as the the sentences are perfectly valid I left I decided to deal only with the DO/DOES aspect.
And the question was rather specific, but yes, a rewording is a great way to duck some curve that English might throw us.