I know, the title is really vague and unclear but let me explain. I keep hearing things like "Do I envy you!" or "Boy, Do I love pizza!" kind of sentences. I know (or at least figured out) those are not real questions and actually the meaning is closer to "Boy, I (do) love pizza!"

What I'm not sure is the difference between "Boy, I love pizza!" and "Boy, Do I love pizza!", or when to use which. What is the grammar rule behind these kind of sentence structures?

Sorry if the question is stupid or too obvious but as a non-native English speaker, I'm having trouble to see the grammar rule behind it.

Thanks for your help.

edit: I'm also not sure what to add as a tag, please feel free to correct me if I have them wrong or suggest additional tags

  • The obvious (?) is that the form do I is not used only for questions. Calling it 'question form' is thus inaccurate. Do is used in Boy, do I love pizza! to enthusiastically affirm one's love for that substance. Nov 26, 2016 at 1:39
  • 1
    Yeah, swapping the do and the I in this case is specifically an example of Subject-Auxiliary Inversion. It happens in all kinds of questions, but also in many other kinds of constructions: Never has anyone complained, for example. Nov 26, 2016 at 3:40
  • 1
    Isn't it also a rhetorical question with the implication that the positive answer is obviously correct? If so it correlates with "Is the Pope a Catholic?" and "Does a bear shit in the woods?" In fact I'm sure that I've heard people use the two forms together as in "Do I like Pizza? Is the Pope Catholic?"
    – BoldBen
    Nov 26, 2016 at 7:48
  • Closed interrogatives like Boy, do I love pizza! can be used as rhetorical questions indirectly conveying exclamatory statements. The implicit meaning is close to that of the exclamative Boy, how I love pizza!
    – BillJ
    Nov 26, 2016 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


They're used as rhetorical questions, with the implication that the answer is obviously yes. Such as, I can't believe you'd even ask that question, of course I do.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

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