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?


2 Answers 2


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.


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.

  • And what do you mean when you say "I do play the piano"? I don't see what is emphasized in this sentence :(
    – karlicoss
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 13:30
  • 3
    @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
    Commented May 7, 2011 at 15:26

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