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It is possible to use do as an auxiliary verb to denote emphasis:

I do like ice cream

Is it also possible to use it when do is the main verb as well? E.g.:

I did do (it).

He does do (it).

I do do (it).

Are the sentences above acceptable? Do they sound unnatural?

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I would say that yes, they are acceptable. For example, a kid talking to his mom:

Parent: Did you do your homework?
Child: Yes I did!
Parent: No, I don't believe you.
Child: I did do it!

As Subjunctive mentions in the comments, another option is "I really did it!" Or you could combine the two - "I really did do it!" or "I really do care about you!"

It's used as a reply to disbelief. Another example for the third person.

Person A: I heard that Johnny does Taekwondo!
Person B: I don't think he does it...
Person A: He does do Taekwondo! I saw him at practice with my own eyes!

As for having something like "do do," read from Stangdon's comment below:

It's grammatically correct, but it sounds a little funny. "I don't do a lot for the company." "No, you do do a lot for the company!" We would probably try and find a better way to phrase it, like "You actually do a lot" or "You really do a lot".

I don't think that it is strange enough to say that it wouldn't be used at all, but "do do" sounds a bit funny to the ear. You can still use it, but know that there are other options.

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  • Thanks. Do you think it is acceptable when both the auxiliary and the main verb sound the same? "You do do"
    – fdierre
    Jan 8 '16 at 20:28
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    It's grammatically correct, but it sounds a little funny. "I don't do a lot for the company." "No, you do do a lot for the company!" We would probably try and find a better way to phrase it, like "You actually do a lot" or "You really do a lot".
    – stangdon
    Jan 8 '16 at 20:31
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    @fdierre In addition to sounding generally strange (but correct), you should know that the phrase "doo doo" is a (infantile) phrase for poop, which makes the unusual phrasing even worse.
    – apsillers
    Jan 8 '16 at 20:39
  • @stangdon an excellent example. I really wish this to be a part of some answer as many tend to ignore comments! +10 if it was possible! :)
    – Maulik V
    Jan 9 '16 at 6:55
  • @apsillers: thank you for the tip, that's a language trap I would have never noticed. :-)
    – fdierre
    Jan 12 '16 at 8:47

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