I came across the following sentence

”My family does think I’m a little bit addicted to fast food.”

What’s the meaning of the verb ”does” in that sentence? Does it have the same meaning as the sentence below?

”My family thinks I’m a little bit addicted to fast food.”

  • It's all about emphatic polarity. In this do-support construction, stress is placed on the primary verb to emphasise the positive polarity of the clause.
    – BillJ
    Jan 9, 2021 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


If you look at the Cambridge dictionary entry for do, you will see an entry for EMPHASIS. With this meaning, it is followed by a verb infinitive without to. You could, for example say:

I like your dress - simple statement
I do like your dress -emphatic

When this meaning is used in speech, you would generally put a lot of emphasis on do.

The two sentences you quoted have the same meaning, but the first one (with do) is more emphatic. This suggests that "a little bit" may be understatement.

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