We have two ways to say the same declarative sentence in present simple tense using the same words- except for the auxiliary verb ("do' in this case). For instance:

  • "He loves her." becomes 👉 "He does love her."

  • "I believe it." becomes 👉 "I do believe it"

  • "You think so." becomes 👉 "You do think so."

  • "They know it." becomes 👉 "They do know it."

As far as I know, the second form in my examples using the auxiliary verb (this is the kind of the sentence that I'm looking for its name in English grammar terminology) functions as emphasis. I'd like to know what this specific kind, called in grammar terminology.

  • 3
    The auxiliary verb "do" is used here to emphasise the positive polarity of the clause. "Do+lexical verb is not a constituent; rather, auxiliary do is a catenative verb, and the clause that follows it is its catenative complement.
    – BillJ
    Dec 23, 2018 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


As far as I know, most typically, this kind of grammar is referred to as the emphatic do. At least, that's the name you see most often used on all those numerous websites dedicated to English language education. However, if you want to refer to a sentence that uses a do or did for emphasis, then I think you'd just simply say a sentence with an emphatic do or a sentence with an emphatic did. Unfortunately, I don't know if there really is a special grammar term grammarians use to describe this type of sentence.

  • 1
    I was about to answer that the categorization of the sentence continues to be declarative in function and simple in structure. What changes is the categorization of the verb. Modal verbs essentially modify the meaning of substantive verbs, and thus are adverbial in function, but I do not know a term to describe the compound unit of modal and substantive verb. So I really like this answer because it focuses on a term that describes the function of the modal and thus by extension the entire verbal compound. Dec 23, 2018 at 15:24
  • Looking at google books shows a lot of results of "emphatic do" or "emphatic (present simple) sentence" or emphatic mood. All of them describe the emphatic sentence or its component "do". See here for example: books.google.com.ua/… Dec 23, 2018 at 15:37
  • 2
    @Perplexedfolks Do-support is used in your examples to emphasise 'positive polarity'. That may be the term you're looking for.
    – BillJ
    Dec 23, 2018 at 15:42

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