What's the difference between "He does do it" and "He does it"?


I have ever seen a native English wrote: We do receive your doccument.


So I think, {We do receive} is acceptable, then I feel that {He does wear a blue raincoat} is also acceptable, but today, I check a textbook, its author only mention {He wears a blue raincoat} and ignore {He does wear a blue raincoat}, so I want someone could help me clarify this grammar point

thank you in advance

asked Jun 11 '13 at 12:08 Yu Xiaowei New member

2 answers


Usually adding does/do before the verb adds emphasis or clarification. 


For example:


- Ana like green dresses.

- She does like green dresses. She wears one every other day!


- Do you want any wine?

- I do want wine. Thank you!


- Julie talks a lot. 

- Yes, she does chatter quite a bit.


In these examples, do/does is used to emphasize the verb.

link answered Jun 11 '13 at 14:03 Kimberly Expert

Why 'Ana like'? What is the difference between 'Ana like' and 'Ana likes'? Which is correct?

Justyna MatwiejczykJun 11 '13 at 16:23

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Yu, thanks for your question. I hope I can help you.


A word about terminology

As an English teacher and a grammar geek, I find that one of the most difficult things about talking about certain grammar issues is that different grammar references and textbooks use different terms to refer to the same thing.  In your example sentence "We do receive your document", receive is called a (a) base verb, or (b) an infinitive verb, or (c) an infinitive-without-to verb, or (d) dictionary form.  There may be other terms too, and it is ridiculous that there is no agreement on what to call them.  I prefer base verbs, so that's what I will call it in this answer.  But basically a base verb is the form of any verb that goes with "to", and it is also the form of the verb that you would look up in a dictionary (you wouldn't look up ate in the dictionary; you'd look up eat).


How do we use [do] + base verb in negative statements and questions?


The verb [do] (it is in square brackets because it must be conjugated to agree with the subject and the verb tense -- She does, We do, He did, They did, You do, They have done, etc.) is usually used in


(1) negative statements (She didn't like it, We don't go to church, He didn't do his homework, They didn't like it, You don't speak English well, They haven't lived here for very long, etc.)




(2) questions (Did she like it?, Do you go to church?, Did he do his homework?, Did they like it?, Do you speak English?)


[Do] is called a helping or an auxiliary verb when it is used in this way; it can also be (and is often) used as the main verb (for example, He did his homework).


When do we use [do] + base verb in positive statements in English?


However, if you want to emphasize a positive statement, make it sound stronger, you can use this structure for a positive statement.  It is often used in response to what another person said, when you disagree with their negative statement.  For example:


A: You don't love me.

B: That's not true.  I do love you!




A: You should have studied for the test.

B:  That's not fair: I did study!


When spoken, the [do] verb is stressed.  I do love you.


To specifically respond to your question:


Given what I have explained above, We do receive your document is a strange sentence.  The verb do receive is an emphasized Simple Present, which suggests a routine or regular occurrence, yet the object, document, is singular.  It doesn't make sense that someone would routinely receive another person's document.  So that is a mistake. We do receive your documents would be natural-sounding in certain contexts, though.


He does wear a raincoat would sound natural if the speaker was responding to a negative statement such as He doesn't wear a raincoat.


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Jun 11 '13 at 14:13 Shawn Mooney Expert

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