Is there any difference between these two sentences? Is one of them wrong?

  1. Even if a ship did show up

  2. Even if a ship showed up

  • 1
    For most purposes, there's no difference. But note that did provides emphasis for the verb show up, so you couldn't include that if you actually wanted to emphasise that what might show up could be a ship rather than, say, a submarine. To convey that emphasis, you'd need to stress ship, which you can't reasonably do at the same time as stressing did. – FumbleFingers Mar 15 '17 at 18:38

The first would work in a sentence in this context: I don't think ships dock here now. Even if a ship did show up at this pier, it would probably not take passengers on board.

The second would work in the following context: There are so many of us, we won't fit in that sailboat. Even if a ship showed up, we would hardly fi

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