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What Democrats really think about presidential tax returns

or

What do Democrats really think about presidential tax returns

  • 3
    Headlines routinely omit words -- but in this case if you add "do" it becomes a question, right? The first sentence is a statement. – Andrew May 13 '19 at 15:15
  • yes, but if we look for an ellipsis of auxiliary verb then can we say there is the ellipsis of do auxiliary verb? – user94745 May 13 '19 at 15:50
  • If you look for missing things, you could find a missing initial phrase, "Here is", or you could find the missing word "do" plus a missing question mark. The question mark is very important to indicate a question and would not have been left out. – Lorel C. May 13 '19 at 16:08
  • Great! thanks a lot – user94745 May 13 '19 at 16:36
4

As these are written rather than spoken; adding the "do" will change how most people understand the phrase.

The first instance reads as a statement of fact:

[Here is] what democrats really think about presidential tax returns

The most likely way people will parse the second instance, is as a rhetorical question:

What do democrats really think about presidential tax returns[?]

1

It is not - in this instance, the headline is saying "[This article is about] what Democrats really think about presidential tax returns".

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