I'm wondering if I could emphasise any sentences in the perfect tense form like when people emphasise the present and the past tenses.

I mean to say, I see a lot of expressions like these:

  1. I do understand what you are trying to say.
  2. She did try to call the cops.

Is there any chance I could emphasise this perfect-tense sentence if it's possible?

I have made a reservation!

  • Certainly you can - why do you think you can't? Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 13:40
  • @KateBunting Thanks, how? Should I say "I do have made a reservation"? I'm not sure since I haven't heard someone says like that.
    – user516076
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 13:43
  • 3
    I see - No, you don't emphasise it using do, just "I have made a reservation." Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 13:46
  • 1
    You cannot emphasize it in writing. Only in speech. do works for present simple and did for past simple. The others require changing your intonation.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 14:04
  • 2
    Basically, you cannot use the emphatic do if there is already a modal or other "helping verb".
    – stangdon
    Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


Sure, you can apply the same emphasis here. Typically you'd do this when someone is implying that you did not make a reservation, e.g.:

Them: You're so forgetful; I asked you to book us a table yesterday and you still haven't made a reservation...

You: I have made a reservation!

Note that you'd only typically use this form if someone previously said "you haven't made ...". As a counter-example, if they said "I asked you and you didn't make a reservation", then you'd typically respond "I did make a reservation" rather than "I have made ...".


The difficulty of this question is that perfect tenses already have an emphatic use.


I told you to do your homework.


I have done my home work.

But obviously the perfect tenses have other uses, and how do you emphasize them? You need to use other words or phrases.

I have got home from work and am enjoying some beer.

implies recency.

I have just got home from work

emphasizes that “recent” means quire recent.

I have not found my phone

has current relevance.

I have still not found my phone

implies that the search has been going on for some time (not so recent) but emphasizes its continuing and frustrating relevance,

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .