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I found this sentence in a blog:

I didn't do tell him anything

In the sentence above, I see that do is the adverb.
Is it gramatically correct to write like that where /didn't/, /do/ and the verb /tell/ in one sentence?

Here's one of other examples:
enter image description here

It says: .... he really did love ....

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    Looks like a typo to me. I would expect to see "I didn't tell him anything". I don't think "do" belongs in that sentence. – Kristina Lopez Feb 29 '16 at 20:15
  • I also think that didn't is an absolute statement and do not require do to emphasize it. But, is it grammatically correct? If it is not correct, how the adverb should be used? – Herman Nz Feb 29 '16 at 20:18
  • @Herman Nz "Do" is not an adverb, so how can we advise you how it should be used? – BillJ Feb 29 '16 at 20:35
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    I ever learn (in one of Betty Schrampfer Azar's books) like this: I do care or I did care. So, what is do in this case? and, how to change it into negative sentence? – Herman Nz Feb 29 '16 at 20:47
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    It's almost always a verb: sometimes a 'dummy' auxiliary verb used for emphasis as in "But I do care"; or in questions Do you care? or in negatives I do not care. In other cases it's a lexical verb, as in I will do my best . It also has a minor use as a noun, as in What a great do! – BillJ Feb 29 '16 at 20:57
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No, it isn't, in any variety of English that I am aware of.

"Do/does/did" may be used in an affirmative sentence before any other verb*, for emphasis (in a negative or interrogative sentence it's obligatory before most verbs) as long as there isn't another auxiliary.

In "I didn't do tell him anything" there are two auxiliaries ('didn't' and 'do') so it is not grammatical.

In "he really did love her" there is no other auxiliary besides "did", so it is grammatical.

(* except "be")

  • Thanks mr @Fine. In a phrase, say, "an English book". Here, word "English" is a noun which modifies the other word "book". Since "English" modifies "book", "English" has a similar function as an Adjective, right? What about "DO" in " he really did love her". Could it be called as an Adverb of Quality or as an "specific" auxiliary like you said (for emphasis) ?. Thanks again :p – Herman Nz Mar 1 '16 at 1:23
  • What does your closing except "be" refer to? – Lawrence Mar 1 '16 at 1:25
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    @HermanNz: No. The important question is, "Is it grammatical?" In other words, "Do native speakers use if that way?". If the answer is 'yes', then we can figure out what the grammar is. Since the answer is 'no', there is no grammar to figure out. "English" is an adjective, and is one of the things (not the only one) which may modify a noun. "Do" is not (so far) an adverb: it is a verb, which changes to "does", "did", "doing", or "done" in suitable contexts. Perhaps at some time in the future "do" will come to function as an adverb, but now it does not in any variety of English that I know. – Colin Fine Mar 1 '16 at 17:01
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    @Lawrence: it was meant to be a footnote (marked by the asterisk) but Stackexchange turned the asterisk into a bullet. – Colin Fine Mar 1 '16 at 17:02
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    Thanks @ColinFine, your explanation is clear enough. ^_^ – Herman Nz Mar 2 '16 at 3:05
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To clarify Mr. Fine's fine response, it is worth noting that "do" is used as an auxiliary verb (either as emphasis in affirmative sentences or in negatives and interrogatives) for all verbs except the verb "be".

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