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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. – Alan Carmack Nov 26 '16 at 1:39
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    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. – John Lawler Nov 26 '16 at 3:40
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    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 '16 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 '16 at 10:48
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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.

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