Operators are words that facilitate the expression of a negation, interrogatives, and emphasis in the English language. Operators function within verb phrases functioning as predicates. Only one grammatical form can perform the function of operator in English. The one grammatical form that can function as the operator is the verb. Only the verb do, sometimes referred to as the do-operator, can function as an operator.
The conjugations of the verb do are as follows:
- Base – Simple Present – Simple Past – Present Participle – Past Participle
- do – do, does – did – doing – done
The do-operator is also sometimes referred to as the dummy do.
The Operator for Negation
Negation is the grammatical operation whereby a proposition is replaced by one that states the opposite. An affirmative form expresses the validity or truth of a basic assertion. A negative form expresses the falsity of a basic assertion. The first method of negation in the English language is verb phrase negation. Verb phrases in English can be negated by inserting the negative adverb not after the first auxiliary verb of the verb phrase. For verb phrases without an auxiliary verb, the operator do also appears before the negative adverb not. For example:
- The child ate some cookies.
- The child did not eat some cookies.
- She watches my daughter.
- She does not watch my daughter.
- I enjoy football.
- I do not enjoy football.
Note that the do-operator expresses the tense of the verb phrase in negated constructions.
The Operator for Interrogation
Interrogative constructions allow speakers to ask questions. To form an interrogative sentence from a declarative sentence, invert the subject and the first auxiliary verb of the verb phrase functioning as a predicate. For verb phrases without an auxiliary verb, invert the operator do with the subject. For example:
- She likes reading Shakespeare.
- Does she like reading Shakespeare?
- The gardener watered the pumpkins.
- Did the gardener water the pumpkins?
- Some students meet in lounge after class.
- Do some students meet in the lounge after class?
Note that the do-operator expresses the tense of the verb phrase in interrogative constructions.
The Operator for Emphasis
- I love Doritos dipped in mashed potatoes.
- I do love Doritos dipped in mashed potatoes!
- My daughter claims that she washed the dishes.
- My daughter claims that she did wash the dishes.
- He works at the company.
- He does work at the company.
Note that the do-operator expresses the tense of the verb phrase in emphatic constructions.
The only grammatical form that can function as the operator in the English language is the verb, specifically the verb do, or the do-operator.
Operators in English grammar are words that facilitate the expression of a negation, interrogatives, and emphasis.
Operator is a grammatical function.
The grammatical form that can function as the operator in English grammar is the verb phrase. The only auxiliary verb that can function as the operator are the verb do.
Operators are constituents of the verb phrase.
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