Does anybody know a cover-term for "declarative", "negative", and "emphatic"? One of my ESL-students asked me, and I cannot remember a term for this (tho' I've been teaching ESL for over 20 years). We were dealing with aux. "do" in English, and practicing declarative, negative, emphatic, y/n-questions, topicalized syntax (eg, "Seldom do I go"), and the use of "do" as a pro-verb as in "Mary doesn't smoke, but John does."


  • 1
    Are you asking about a term that covers uses of "do" in English, or do you want a general term that applies to any language and picks out exactly declarative, negative and emphatic sentences? Surely you don't mean the latter since it isn't a coherent set. The phenomenon is known as "do-support", but you don't get do-support in all negatives, emphatics or declaratives. So, uh, it's not clear what you're asking.
    – user6726
    Feb 16, 2016 at 19:04
  • I'm not sure why you want to group declaratives, negatives and emphaticness. Without knowing that there's no way to suggest an appropriate term.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 16, 2016 at 21:40
  • Thank you both for responding. Yes, I want a term that groups declarative, negative, and emphatic, if such a term should exist (regardless of aux. "do"). The question of whether these form a "coherent set" is an interesting one (how can we tell that?), but a term that would group these would be useful in the classroom; I could say "Margareth, practice your [insert term here] for simple present", for example. It does seem vaguely familiar that I might have once known of such a term, years ago -- if not in my Linguistics-studies, then perhaps at least in Math or Logic. If so, it is eluding me. Feb 17, 2016 at 15:17
  • Usually, declaratives are contrasted with interrogatives or imperatives, which are different clause types.
    – Alex B.
    Feb 17, 2016 at 19:05
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    @ Alex: it's not catchy, and it can have another meaning, but it may do for our purposes. Thank you. Feb 17, 2016 at 20:15


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