A degree does not change your potential to make an impact on the world. If you want to dive head first into a problem and solve it, go for it. Nothing is stopping you. What is does allow is for you to cultivate your mind and discover your talents and interests

Do native English speakers actually say "What is does allow is" ?

Sounds alike way too many verbs.

  • 5
    I'm assuming that should be "What it does allow is". It's a little clunky but I have heard phrases like that used - it's little more concise than "What having a degree does allow is..." - personally I'd rewrite it to say something like "Having a degree allows you to..." (since it's been a little while since we mentioned that the it in this case is the degree). – CD001 Jan 9 at 15:45

Here's the full source.

It looks like a typo to me. Here's how I would read it:

What it does allow is for you to cultivate your mind and discover your talents and interests.

I understand "it" to refer to "a degree." Otherwise, the usage is an example of a cleft sentence, or a sentence that adds extra words to connect what was just talked about to what is new to the listener. "What it does" introduces that they will talk about what the degree does. Then the writer follows through with the description. They could also write

It (or "a degree" or "pursuing a degree") allows you to cultivate your mind and discover your talents and interests.

That's literally similar, but works differently on an audience level. I have my own stylistic preference between that and the Wh-cleft, but either would be understood.

  • The sentence would sound more natural if does were put in italics—thereby putting the emphasis on that word, and contrasting it with a previous sentence that talked about things it doesn't allow. – Jason Bassford Jan 10 at 2:33

The question is about using the so-called 'emphatic' do.

So the actual meaning of 'it does allow' is 'it allows indeed'.

According to Oxford Living Dictionary:


Used to give emphasis to a positive verb.

For example:

‘I do want to act on this’

‘he did look tired’

‘But this still does beg a question as to what is in all this for the manufacturer.’

‘In this case, the answers to the first two of these questions really does appear to be no.’

‘For one thing, many Democrats seem to have forgotten that they did win the election last time.’

‘It's a chilling and bizarre image, but it does answer the questions better than any other theory.’

‘The film has a positive message because Bella does find friendship and love.’

‘In the final act, the film does deliver a few surprises, but by that point it's far too late.’

‘However, the controversy does raise important questions over the use of technology in sport.’

‘That more or less answers that question, but it does open up another can of worms.’

‘I think there is a lot of truth in that statement even if it does paint an unflattering portrait.’

‘He did seem very tired in the bath though so I think we might need to work on his stamina.’

‘Where the commandment does fall down is its lack of relevance to tenement life.’

‘The Guardian does mention important and controversial issues, but only in passing.’

‘It does beg the question of why they should go to all that effort though.’

‘Which does rather raise the question of why the government didn't think of it two days ago.’

‘However, it does pose the age-old question of whether or not money can buy you happiness.’

‘However the parents do live in a rather affluent area outside of San Diego.’

‘If he does give evidence the question will depend on whether his evidence is believed.’

‘In that statement she does indeed make the statement which is attributed to her.’

‘Oh well, the tutor did mention she was interested in the reactions we would get.’

‘While not directly overlooked, the garden does look onto the side of another house

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