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Is it correct to use the word "do" twice in a row? For instance; "I do do that" or would you say "I do that"? "You do do that" or "You do that"?

Which is correct, or are they both correct?

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Using "do" twice in a sentence, even in apposition, is not grammatically incorrect.

If you can say

Do you ever do anything you would be ashamed of?

which you certainly can, then you can also say

Oh, so you do do things you would be ashamed of?


I don't do anything I am ashamed of, but sometimes I do do things I find embarrassing.

Note that in my first example, a single do won't suffice. It would be awkward or at least archaic to say

Do you anything you would be ashamed of?

No modern-day speakers would ever say such a thing.

The construction even appears in the song "You Do Something To Me" by Cole Porter:

Do do that voodoo
that you do so well.

And, for a laugh, let's close with Sting's use of multiple *do*s:

De do do do, de da da da
that's all I want to say to you.

Obviously that's not the same grammatical use case, but it does have a logic all its own.

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Nothing wrong with using 'do do" but it just sounds like something doggies do. :-)

The above sentence:

I don't do anything I am ashamed of, but sometimes I do do things I find embarrassing.

Might sound better if said this way:

I don't do anything I am ashamed of, but sometimes I actually do things I find embarrassing.

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In general "I do that" is enough. But if you want to emphasize that you "do" that you can use do twice. In question the first "do" should be on the first place. Do you do that? That is the only right variant.

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Usage of the double do is not for emphasis, but rather it changes the tense of the expression. "I will do that" in the future tense, or "I do, do that" in the present tense which should probably be rephrased as "I am doing that". – crowne Mar 10 '11 at 14:54
@Crowne: No. It can show temporal aspect ("I do do that" = "I habitually do that"), but it is much more likely to be for emphasis. It certainly does not mean "I am doing that", in any variety of English I can think of. – Colin Fine Dec 18 '15 at 22:40

It is the first use of the word 'do' that is incorrect in the sentence "you do do that". The correct response could be that "I have seen you do that" or "I have noticed that you do that"

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I do that is sufficient, although when wanting to emphasize the fact that you really DO do something an extra do is added. So for instance if worded differently this sentence could be constructed like this I really do this or I really do do this= one of the do's here is used for emphasis to add definition to the fact that you really do that something.

She phoned Peter= fact

She did phone Peter, I know she did= fact, but the speaker sounds as though trying to convince the listener that she really phoned Peter and it's not a lie.

In the second sentence as the past tense is used the do is changed to did.

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protected by Mitch Feb 25 at 14:15

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