While talking to my daughter yesterday, I challenged her that she cannot get ready in 10 minutes. We were, actually, going out. She's keen in learning English, and she surprises me with either her answers or her questions!

Now the general case:

We emphasize our confidence by putting do (verb) as in...

You don't see that ~ Ah, I do see!
You don't care ~ I do care!

But, the conversation went like:

Rhyme, leave it! You cannot get ready in 10 minutes
Dad, I do can!

Now, grammatically, it could be plain wrong. I know this. But, my question is by any chance, even in an informal language ...is it correct?

  • 1
    "I sure can" sounds meaningful.
    – CinCout
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 7:11
  • @CinCout aww... I surely can!
    – Maulik V
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 8:20
  • Am I wrong in using sure? AFAIK, it is just an informal way while surely is formal.
    – CinCout
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 8:25
  • 1
    @CinCount: you're right - surely is formally correct but sure is in common colloquial use.
    – smatterer
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 8:43

1 Answer 1


"I can do." is a common enough expression or even just "Can do."

As for "I do can." -- Sorry, no can do. That doesn't work at any degree of informality.

  • Indeed, I can't think of any occasion where "do" can come before a modal (we can't say "do shall", *"do will", *"do may", *"do must", *"do might") even in the most informal language (although "did ought" is acceptable as a replacement for "ought not", and "did use(d) to" always works informally, but those are semi-modals). Some dialects permit modal-stacking, e.g. "might should", but I've never seen "do can" (though "do" is non-modal anyway), but even if it exists in some dialect, it would definitely be nonstandard.
    – rjpond
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 9:51
  • As a native US English speaker, I've never heard anyone say "I can do", and it sounds very weird to me. "Can do", yes, but not "I can do." Can you provide any source or reference for it?
    – stangdon
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 14:53
  • "I can do" is perfectly normal in BrE (although it's no more emphatic than "I can", so it isn't comparable to the non-existent "I do can" form). See separatedbyacommonlanguage.blogspot.co.uk/2007/09/…
    – rjpond
    Commented Dec 15, 2017 at 18:23

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