Possible Duplicate:
Sentences using: [something] + have + they
Use of “do” in affirmative statements

I was reading a news paper article of Times Of India, and came across a sentence-

To begin with, a woman's right to property has already been established under law. This means that she has equal rights to her parental property as her male siblings. In such a scenario, according women an extra legal right over their husbands' residential property - which too could be inherited - is unfair. Neither do men have the same rights over their wives' property nor can they claim emotional damages during divorce.

Why there is a word "do" in between "Neither" and "men have".?

From my pointing of view It might be - "Neither men have the same rights over their wives' property nor can they claim emotional dames during divorce".

I have also heard people saying that "I do agree with your statement".

Why could not it may be "I agree with your statement".

Is There any grammatical mistake in these sentences or both I can use interchangeably?

  • at least this question didn't deserve a down vote. May 19, 2012 at 10:59
  • 1
    For all 15 questions asked, you should pick an answer which best answers your question and click on the "tick" symbol to the left of the answer to accept it.
    – Bravo
    May 19, 2012 at 12:19
  • An alternate but equivalent rendering is: "Men do not have the same rights ... either."
    – Mitch
    May 19, 2012 at 12:40

2 Answers 2


The most common form of sentence inversion in English is called subject-auxiliary inversion. In order to perform this inversion, the sentence needs an auxiliary verb. If the sentence doesn't have an auxiliary, one is added. Often, that auxiliary is "do".

Inversions are most commonly used for questions. In this case, the inversion is used to create an embedded question, and there are actually two embedded questions in the sentence each with inversions. The first one uses "do" and the second one uses "can".


  • do men have the same rights over their wives' property


  • can they claim emotional damages during divorce.

The embedded questions are complete sentences in this case, so you can say:

  • Do men have the same rights over their wives' property?
  • Can they claim emotional damages during divorce?

Note that not all embedded questions use question order, e.g.,

I know who he is. (correct)

I know who is he. (incorrect)

The second example is different.

I do agree with your statement. (correct)

I agree with your statement. (correct)

In this case, "do" is used for emphasis.


Dietrich has given a very good answer to your main question. But you also asked subsidiary questions: *Neither men have the same rights... is grammatically incorrect: it is equivalent to *Men not have rights, which is broken English at best. I agree with your statement is not incorrect, but neither is it interchangeable with I do agree with your statement.

Incidentally, this construction would be bad style in a British newspaper; starting a sentence with neither refers to a negative in a previous sentence (Men cannot have children. Neither can they take maternity leave). The usual way of expressing the thought here would be Men neither have the same rights (...), nor can they claim for emotional damages.

And you really should check the spelling before submitting a question: emotional dames is not the same as emotional damages (perhaps emotional dames are claiming emotional damages?)


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