Auxiliary Verbs for Emphasis


When we want to add emphasis or make our sentences stronger or disagree in a strong way, we often use auxiliary verbs. In spoken English, a sentence can get greater emphasis if the auxiliary or modal verb is stressed.


That will be nice. -> That will be nice!

I can’t go with you. -> I can’t go with you!

It tastes delicious. -> It does taste delicious!

The auxiliary do is a marker of emphasis in affirmative sentences like the above one. Emphatic do is used in different contexts to express at least 5 different meanings.

* Note: After emphatic do we always use the base form of the verb

do + base form

does + base form

did + base form

1. Affirmative emphasis of a whole sentence.

Emphatic do often occurs after emphatic adverbs like certainly or really.


I certainly do hope you pass the test.

I really do like that song.

A: Do you remember her name?

B: I certainly do remember her name.

2. Emphasis of a verb used with adverbs of frequency such as never, rarely, seldom, often, always.


The student who took extra classes always did pass his exams.

The horse he bet on usually did win.

The classmates we were waiting for never did arrive.

3. Emphasis of a positive result when we don’t know some information or are in doubt


I’m happy to hear that you do like Mexican food.

(I wasn’t sure if you would like eating Mexican food, but that’s the only food I have and that’s what we’re having for dinner)

I’m glad to hear that you did pass your exam.

(I wasn’t sure you would pass the test because you told me it was going to be very difficult)

4. Affirmative contradiction of a negative statement.


My teacher said that I didn’t turn in my homework, but I did turn it in!

My boyfriend broke up with me because he thinks I don’t love him, but I do love him very much!

5. Contrasting


Even though I don’t like most classical music, I do like Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

Although I don’t like learning grammar, I do enjoy playing grammar games in class.

I dislike spicy food, but I do like Thai noodles.

Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Student A: Choose a card and ask the question.

Student B: Answer the question making emphasis (Use emphatic do)