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Here is the question -

Do you live in New York City?

Which answer is preferred and why?

a) Yes, I do.
b) Yes, I do live.
c) Yes, I live.

2 Answers 2

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Neither B nor C is acceptable; live would be interpreted as an intransitive verb (meaning "to be alive", not "to reside in"), making the overall meaning "I'm not dead".

A is acceptable. The verb do substitutes for the entire predicate live in New York City.

Yes, I live in New York City.
Yes, I do.

These sentences have the same meaning.

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  • 1
    I got it. But then tell me this - Do you like that girl? And the answers are - Yes, I do; Yes, I like and Yes, I do like. Is your answer the same for this? Since it's an answer, does not 'I like' or 'I do like' surely imply to the girl we are talking about? If yes, it's the same for New York City. If I say, "Yes, I live." It should mean that I'm talking about living in New York City only since I answered the question of whether I live in the city.
    – Maulik V
    Jan 7, 2014 at 8:17
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    Yes, my answer is the same for that. Like is transitive, and you can't standardly omit its complement.
    – user230
    Jan 7, 2014 at 8:19
  • @snailplane I'll add that "Yes, I live there" and "Yes, I do live there" would also be acceptable.
    – godel9
    Jan 7, 2014 at 15:08
  • Furthermore, you can use "Yes, I live there", also. The place, or a pronoun for the place, cannot be omitted, because "to live" has a different meaning from "to live someplace"!
    – Kaz
    Jan 9, 2014 at 6:04
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TECHNICAL SUPPLEMENT to snailplane's answer:

a) Yes, I do.
b) Yes, I do live.

These two examples show two different uses of do.

  • In (a), do acts as a “pro-verb”, analogous to a pronoun. In this role it stands for an entire VP: not just the verb but the verb and its complements and adjuncts, just as a pronoun stands for an entire NP and not just the noun which heads it. Consequently, this sentence includes by reference all the content of the question.

  • In (b), however, do is no longer a pro-verb but an auxiliary, just as it is in the question. Consequently, this sentence seems to deliberately exclude the remainder of the sentence, leaving your hearer unsure what you mean. This may be remedied by adding a “pro-adverb” standing for the concluding prepositional phrase:

    Yes, I do live there.

    However, that may leave your hearer wondering why you employ the auxiliary do, which is ordinarily used either for emphasis or to assert something which has just been denied.

    HE:    You don’t live in New York City.
    YOU: Yes, I do live there, in the Bronx.

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