English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
“did shoot” vs “shot”

I often notice such sentences as: "EEG did show tumors"(from this week House M.D.) Why not "EEG showed tumors"? Is that form used to emphasize something?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Robusto, RegDwigнt May 7 '11 at 18:42

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your guess is correct. Normally a simple indicative statement like this doesn't use the word did:

The EEG showed tumors.

However, when you want to emphasize the fact that the result was positive, you can use the auxiliary did:

The EEG did show tumors.

This puts extra weight on the fact that the tumors really were found. If you listen closely, you'll probably also hear the actors putting extra emphasis on the word did in this construction.

share|improve this answer

sometimes auxiliary verbs can emphasize the meaning of the sentence.

For example:

I play the piano
I do play the piano

The auxiliary verb do emphasizes the meaning of the sentence.

share|improve this answer
And what do you mean when you say "I do play the piano"? I don't see what is emphasized in this sentence :( – karlicoss May 7 '11 at 13:30
@karlicoss: The entire meaning of the sentence. If I was merely telling someone that I can play that instrument, I'd say I play the piano. If, however, someone had accused me of being unable to do so, I might exclaim: I do play the piano! – psmears May 7 '11 at 15:26
@psmears Oh, I see. thanks :) – karlicoss May 7 '11 at 18:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.