He did dance on the stage.

He danced on the stage.

Is there any difference in these two sentences or they can be used interchangeably ?

  • Both of them describe the dance happening on stage in past, however the sentence with did is more emphatic. So, the usage will be according to whether or not one wants to emphasize.
    – Satya
    Oct 10, 2017 at 10:44
  • Can we use did+any verb(first form) instead of second form of verb to emphasize ? E.g. He did eat instead of He ate.
    – user212388
    Oct 10, 2017 at 10:53
  • Yes, we use "did" in an affirmative sentence precisely for the same effect (emphasis)
    – Satya
    Oct 10, 2017 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


They are quite different. I wouldn't say that they can be used interchangeably.

  1. He danced on the stage - simply states a fact that he danced.
  2. He did dance on the stage - can either state a countertruth to either a falsehood or a disbelief or emphasize the statement that he danced.

Let's assume someone is telling another person that some woman was afraid to sing at a yesterday's vocal contest, but a third person states that she in fact did. Here's the situation:

  • Person 1. Yesterday she was invited on stage, but she was afraid to sing.
  • Person 2. So she didn't sing?
  • Person 3. I heard her sing yesterday.
  • Person 2. So did she sing or not?
  • Person 1. Not while I was there.
  • Person 3. She did sing later in the evening.

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