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  1. Who does go there now-a-days?

  2. Who goes there now-a-days?

My book said sentence 1 is incorrect while sentence 2 is correct, can anyone please explain this?

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Who does go there now-a-days?

Who goes there now-a-days?

Both are grammatically correct. The important thing to know is where the emphasis occurs.

When "does" is used in this way it is invariably strongly emphasised. This doesn't always show in print but it very often does.

My version for explanation: Who DOES go there nowadays? (This is intended to show the strength of the emphasis).

How you may see it in print: Who does go there nowadays? (again this indicates emphasis)


This i known as a rhetorical question, that is to say one to which an answer is not expected.

Examples

1.

Q: Who goes to the youth club nowadays? (a request for information)

A: Well, I go and so do John and Mary. There are usually about ten people on most nights.

2.

A: I went to the club last night. There was hardly anyone there.

B: Who does go to the club nowadays - it's so boring! (rhetorical question that also indicates sarcasm)

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(I think the term for this is an intransive verb, but I am not an academic English learner, so don't take my word for that—I'm sure others' comments will confirm.)

From a speaker's (as opposed to a learner's) perspective, you wouldn't say "I do going to the cinema"[1], to describe an activity that you do regularly; you say "I go to the cinema". In that same way, in normal speech, you wouldn't say "Who does go there?".

Note that I say in normal speech. Confusingly, there are occasions where it is appropriate to say "Who does go there?"—particularly in casual speech, but these are usually when the speaker is emphasising/reinforcing something that is obvious/commonplace to the them, that should also be obvious/commonplace to the person they are speaking to.

Consider a conversation between Alice and Bob:

Alice: I don't go to the cinema, any more.

Bob: Who does go there now-a-days?

Alice is simply telling Bob that she no longer goes to the cinema. Bob is agreeing with Alice and reinforcing this by suggesting that no-one goes to the cinema any more (at least, in Bob's mind). Note that Bob is not saying this literally, he is just stating his opinion that it is no longer seems to be a common activity.


[1] In far more casual conversation, someone might say "I do going to the cinema" but, for that person, going to the cinema is probably their favourite hobby, and they are deliberately subverting the common convention to imply how seriously they take it (i.e. very).

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  • Here “does” is an intensifier; “intransitive” is something entirely different.
    – StephenS
    Sep 13 '20 at 10:29
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    You don't say "I do going", but you can say "I do go" when you want to emphasise it or to contradict someone. That is analogous to the use of "who does go?".
    – rjpond
    Sep 13 '20 at 10:46

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