Now with exercises.
Adding emphasis by stressing the auxiliary
- Continuous - Why aren't you going to the party?
- - But I am going to the party!
- - I can't go to this one, but I am going to the one next week.
- Perfect - You haven't tidied your room!
- - I have tidied it! I did it this morning.
- - I know, but I have put my clothes away.
- Modal - Is it because you can't dance?
- - But I can dance! Just look!
- - I can't dance the paso doble, but I can dance the tango.
But what about simple tenses?
|I work||He works|
|I don't work||He doesn't work|
|Do you work?||Does he work?|
|We worked||She worked|
|We didn't work||She didn't work|
|Did you work?||Did she work?|
- Present simple - She doesn't like cheese, does she?
- - But she does like cheese! In fact she loves it.
- - I don't like cottage cheese, but I do like blue cheese.
- Past simple - You said you would phone me!
- - I did phone you! But you didn't answer.
- - OK, I didn't phone you, but I did send you a text (SMS).
Other times we add emphasis
- She does look good in that dress.
- He is putting on a bit of weight.
- Her English really has improved an awful lot.
- You really must see this new film.
- I did enjoy that party last night.
- I never did understand what he saw in her.
- He does eat meat, doesn't he?
- She is coming to the party, isn't she?
- He has spoken to you about this, hasn't he?
- You can work late tonight, can't you?
- You did phone Jenny, didn't you.
- Do stop going on about it, will you?
- Do try this cake, it's delicious.
- You don't like cheese, do you? - Yes, I do. Whatever gave you that idea?
- Mark doesn't eat meat, does he? - Actually, he does nowadays.
- You fancy Mark, don't you? - No, I don't! What, me and Mark? Don't be silly!
- But you've been out with him, haven't you? - No, I haven't!
- You're not telling the truth, are you? - Yes, I am.
- But you're blushing, aren't you? - No, I'm not.
- A: I don't think I'll be seeing Paul today.
B: Well, if you do (see him), can you ask him to get in touch with me.
- A: I wonder if he's coming to tomorrow's meeting.
B: Well, if he isn't (coming), he should have told us by now.
- A: Perhaps he's left a message with his assistant.
B: If he has (left a message), she hasn't passed it on.
Putting it into practice 1 - emphatic do
Exercise 1a - Fill the gaps with present simple or past simple forms of the verbs in the box. Where you think it is appropriate, add emphatic do, does or did.
Exercise 1b - Fill the gaps with present or past forms of the verbs in the box. Where you think it is appropriate, add emphatic do, does or did.
Putting it into practice 2 - emphatic auxiliaries
Exercise 2a - Decide which is more appropriate, the stressed full version for emphasis, or the unstressed contraction.
|1.||Hi, Marcia. Wow, you've / you have finished your essay already. You've / You have been working hard, haven't you? As for mine, I've / I have hardly started writing it yet, although I've / I have done all my research.|
|2.||Sammy, did you go to Pete's party last night? - No. I'd / I would have gone, but I'd / I had already agreed to look after Betty's children so that she could go.|
|3.||If you're / you are not too busy, could you give me a hand with this? - Well, I'm / I am rather busy, actually. Can't you ask somebody else?|
|4.||I'm really / I really am enjoying this soup, it's delicious! - I'm / I am so glad you like it.|
|5.||If you're / you are not going to finish that cake, can I have it? - Hands off! I'm / I am going to finish it.|
|6.||You're / You are coming to see us at the weekend, aren't you? I'll / I will be very disappointed if you don't. And after all, mum's / mum has baked a cake especially for the occasion.|
Exercise 2b - In each question, underline the modal (in gray italics) if you think it would be appropriate to stress or emphasise it.
|1.||I don't have much time, but I suppose I could do it if it's really necessary.|
|2.||I can help you with that if you like.|
|3.||I shall be seeing him tomorrow, do you want me to give him a message?|
|4.||Cinderella! You shall go to the ball!|
|5.||But you must remember to leave before midnight.|
|6.||As a rule, drivers must keep to the speed limit at all times.|
|7.||You should ask your teacher if you can have an extension.|
|8.||I should have told you earlier about this, but I forgot.|
|9.||I may have left it at home, but I was sure I had brought it.|
|10.||By the way, I might be a bit late this evening; I'm meeting a client.|
Is there such a thing as an emphatic tense?
- it seems usually to be used for questions and negatives as well as for purely emphatic use, even though there isn't usually any particular emphasis in questions and negatives.
- it is only used for present and past simple tenses with the auxiliary do, but as we have seen, we can also emphasise be and have in continuous and perfect tenses in exactly the same way, not to mention modals, the only difference being that we don't have to add the auxiliary as it is already there.
- it has exactly the same time and aspect as a normal simple tense, so I can't see how it can be thought of as a separate tense.