Is there any difference in meaning between the two sentences below?

I did call him


I called him

Both of the above sentences are in past tense. Please help me understand the difference in meanings. Also please help me with example.


2 Answers 2


"I called him" just states the fact. "I did call him" emphasises the fact, especially if spoken and the speaker emphasises "did". "How did you contact Jim?" "I called him." (I didn't send a letter, or an email, or knocked on his door). "You forgot to call Jim". "I did call him." (I didn't forget it, and if he claims I did, he is lying).

To answer a question "Did you call Jim?" you would answer "Yes, I did." or "No, I didn't".


I did call him.

I called him.

As you noticed both constructs are in the past simple. So, technically speaking their meaning is the same. However there is a difference between them: the first sentence is rarely used as a statement (I only occasionally came across it in some complex sentences) whereas the second example represents the normal use of the past simple.

Generally, the auxiliary did is employed when asking a question:

Did I call him?

This said it's advisable to use did when asking questions and the simple past form of a verb in declarative sentences.

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