- English Grammar B1 Level - https://open.books4languages.com/english-b1-grammar -

Present and Past Emphatic Tenses

Introduction

Emphatic tenses are used to express emotive or contrastive emphasis.

We use the present and past emphatic tenses to express that we strongly feel what we are/were talking about, or that something that we expected actually happened.

Form

Emphatic tenses appear in the present tense and past tense. {see Present Simple Affirmative [1] and Past Simple Affirmative [2], A1 level}

They only have the affirmative form, and they have this structure:

  • Present emphatic: Subject + do/does + base form of the verb…
  • Past emphatic: Subject + did + base form of the verb…

NOTE: To give emphasis in negative and interrogative sentences, we don’t use any structure, but we focus on our intonation. An alternative to intonation, is using adverbs of emphasis,  such as absolutelycertainly, clearly

Example

Present:

  • I do work as an intern in this company.
  • She does need you to help her write her CV.
  • They do give a presentation at the end of every month.

Past:

  • I did work as an intern in this company.
  •  He did need you to help her write her CV.
  • They did give a presentation at the end of this month.

Use

The present emphatic tense adds emphasis on something that is happening in the present.

The past emphatic tense shows that something that was expected to happen in the past actually took place.

Summary

Emphatic tenses are used to express emotive or contrastive emphasis in present and past tenses. They can only be found in the affirmative form.

The structure is:

  • Present emphatic: We start with the subject followed by the auxiliary do followed by a verb in its base form. In the third person singular, we use does;
  • Past emphatic: We start with the subject followed by the auxiliary did followed by a verb in its base form.

For example:
“I do work!” = The subject emphasises that he/she works by using present emphatic structure.
“I did work!” = The subject emphasises that he/she actually worked in the past by using past emphatic structure.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.