I thought we must use auxiliary verbs in sentences with inversion only when we have an explicit (not, never) or implicit (only if, hardly, little) negation. But I have come across the next sentence:

1. Dearly do I love you.

Why must we use "do" here?

Why can't we say:

2. Dearly love I you.


  • In 1. the "do" is to emphasise the positive polarity of the clause; it is optional. 2. is ungrammatical, since such inversion is impossible. – BillJ Dec 19 '19 at 17:58

You are not required to use do in this context.

It is sufficient to write:

Dearly I love you

as an alternative to I love you dearly.

But there are many contexts - often poetic, philosophical or reflective - in which we insert the auxiliary after the introductory adverb to create a certain mood:

Painfully do we learn the lessons of life
Wearily does he make his way home.
Quietly does she sleep in her bed.

However, Dearly love I you is not grammatical. You need to write either:

Dearly do I love you
I do love you dearly.

Note that placing the adverb dearly at the end of the sentence creates a different nuance, as though someone were insisting on his/her love in the face of doubts.

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