AIM: To understand the use of emphatic do and to practise using it appropriately.

INTRODUCTION:  This activity focuses on the emphasis provided by do. The doctor in the alcohol video chose to say What might happen if you DO cut down on your drinking? rather than (also possible) What might happen if you cut down on your drinking?  She recognises the patient’s view that it is unlikely he will stop drinking but seeks to show – as a contrast – that it is nevertheless a possibility. The word do must be stressed in speech – this is shown in the examples using capital letters (DO).

Explanation – contrast

We use do to emphasise a contrast. The verb must one that takes do to make its negative and question forms (e.g., make, stop; but not be, have got, must); it also has to be used in the affirmative – this type of emphasis doesn’t work with negatives.


  • I’m not an alcoholic but I DO enjoy a drink now and then.
  • I know I was overweight but I DID try to eat sensibly.

INSTRUCTIONS:  Join the two phrases with but and add do/does/did as appropriate to the ending to emphasise the contrast. Say the complete sentence aloud then listen to the recording to check.


Everyone says I have no willpower ... I stopped smoking for a few months. Play




I know it’s upsetting for you.


We need to make some decisions about what’s best for your father.


It looks like a lot of paperwork to fill in.


We need all this information to admit your son to hospital.


He won’t admit it.


He drinks more than he should.


Giving blood isn’t difficult.


People need to rest for a while afterwards.


I understand that you are registered at this practice.


We have to see your Medicare card every time you come.


I can see you’re in a lot of pain.


We have to prioritise the most urgent cases.


She’s concerned about the bad reaction.


We warned her that there were side effects.



FOLLOW-UP: For more practice with emphatic do, go to this activity.