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

INTRODUCTION:  This activity focuses on the emphasis provided by do.   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.  The word do must be stressed in speech – this is shown in the example using capital letters (‘DO’).


  • I’m not very fit but I DO try to exercise a few times a week.

Sometimes it's best to begin some of these sentences with a phrase that acknowledges the contrasting side of the situation, such as: I know ..., I can see ..., I realise ..., I understand that ...

INSTRUCTIONS: Read these scenarios and decide what you’ll say (using emphatic do).  (There may be other possible ways to respond than the recorded version.)

  1. Your patient is anxious. You need to ask her some questions about allergic reactions.

              I can see ... Play

  1. The father wants to stay with his daughter. You think he should go home to rest for a few hours.

             I understand that ... Play


  1. Your patient wants an operation. In your professional opinion, she needs to consider other options.

             I know ... Play


  1. Your patient is upset. He has to tell his partner about the test results.

             I can see ... Play


  1. Your patient wants to get a second opinion. She needs to do this soon, as you think treatment should start immediately.

             I realise ... Play


  1. Your patient blames you for the delay with the test results. You want to help him.

             I know ...Play


FOLLOW-UP: Emphasis can be given in this way using be and have as well as do. The verb form must be affirmative.

The blood test results are within the ‘normal’ range but I AM worried about your diet.

You say you didn’t get any calls but we HAVE been trying to contact you since yesterday.  

If you want more practice with emphatic do, go to this activity.