Questions from my learners 1

Ask the wise old owl

Wise Old Owl

These are short posts in which I will answer two questions that my learners have asked me. The contents list will build up as I add more questions. There is no easy way to sort and categorise them, so I will list other questions in the series in alphabetical order at the end of the post.

Why do you keep crossing out the word “do” in my writing?

It can be difficult to use the word “do” correctly because it has a number of different functions. It’s often used in questions, such as “do you like chocolate”, but that’s not what I’m talking about today.

When used in statements, it either gives emphasis to something
I haven’t heard back from them but I DID try to call them.
I didn’t understand the text but I DID read it three times.

Or it contradicts the statement that another person made.
You don’t want to come to the event.
Yes I DO! I’m just feeling a bit tired.

You don’t believe me.
I DO believe you but I think there is something that you’re not telling me.

In normal, positive sentences, there is no need to add “do” or “did”.

My boyfriend gave me a lovely present (not my boyfriend did give me a lovely present).
The only time you would use the second sentence in brackets is if someone said that your boyfriend hadn’t given you a lovely present.

Should it be “every day” or “everyday”?

It depends on what you want to say.

If something happens every day, it’s two words:
I walk to work EVERY DAY.

If you are using it as an adjective to mean common or general, it’s one word.
That’s a word that we don’t usually hear in EVERYDAY conversation.


Other questions in this series

If you want to read the rest of the articles in this series, go to the questions article.

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