Is it possible to use the verb "to do" when you are referring to feelings that, at least hypothetically, you could control, like in the phrases below:

I admit I have been a bit jealous, but you would do the same if you were married to a woman and everywhere you go, there are always a lot of men trying to get her attention.


I won't deny that I'm feeling a bit nostalgic lately, but you will probably do the same when you get to my age.


Yes, "do" is a very generic verb. It is used correctly in the original poster's examples.

"Feel" is a more specific verb that could be used instead of "do" in the original poster's examples.

"Do" is to verbs as pronouns are to nouns.

  • Thanks a lot, Jasper. I think now everything is clear to me. – Itamar Jun 28 '19 at 2:54

In the way I see it, is not about feelings, is about conditional or hypothetical situations, comparing to someone else.

"If I were you, I would do the same for her"

"If you win the lottery, I will do the same as you, buying it everyday"

  • Hi, Honey. Thank you for your help. I was in doubt about those phrases, and maybe I still am a bit, because I was specifically talking about feelings. I think I understand you explanation about conditional or hypothetical situations and I can understand the examples you gave. I think in the phrases I used maybe the "correct" would be to say "but you would feel the same" and "but you would probably feel the same" but I was just wondering if I could use "do" instead of "feel" and yet the phrases wouldn't sound "wrong". I don't know if I'm being able to express myself correctly. Thanks again. – Itamar Jun 27 '19 at 21:29
  • Right. It's nonsensical to do feelings. You have them or experience them. They are not an action that you perform. (Barring theatrical experiences, which isn't relevant to this question.) You simply cannot do feelings; that's nonsensical. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jun 28 '19 at 22:23

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