In the sentence "I do like mint ice cream" 'do' is an auxilliary verb. However, if you were responding with a "I do" in a wedding vows context, is 'do' auxilliary? It would be if you continued the line and said "I do promise", but what about when you don't?

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    Yes. Do is an auxiliary verb in both situations. The do in I do like mint ice cream is emphatic and therfore stressed. The do in the wedding ceremony is simply a short answer to a question that also uses Do-Support, and it just repeats the auxiliary. May 21, 2017 at 17:43
  • @JohnLawler - how about you make that an answer? May 22, 2017 at 3:58
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/a/362824/77227
    – herisson
    Jun 19, 2017 at 2:27

1 Answer 1


When saying 'I do promise', for example, the main verb is -to promise, making the verb -to do an auxiliary, but if just saying 'I do', the only verb used is -to do, being the main verb in the sentence, not having what to assist.

Usually, when 'do' is applied before a verb - as an auxiliary - the strength is highlighted. In the same case, it is possible to use 'I promise', as well as using 'I do promise', what gives the state more confidence.


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