At first I thought that there was only such a thing as lexical do and periphrastic, but recently I stumbled upon something else (unfortunately I do not recall what it was called). Whatever be the case, it seems that do can be used for quite a lot of grammatical things (do-support being one). Could someone give some of these roles do can play?
In English, certainly the most common use of do is Do-Support.
DS is invoked whenever a construction requiring an auxiliary verb (like Question or Negative):
- S: Bill is coming today Ques: Is Bill coming today? Neg: Bill isn't coming today.
gets applied to a verb chain without an auxiliary verb in it already; i.e, a bare main verb:
- S: Bill came today Ques: Did Bill come today? Neg: Bill didn't come today.
As I used to tell my students, if you don't have an auxiliary verb,
you have to go out and get one, and the one that you get is do.
Do-Support applies to any verb that's not an auxiliary, no matter what it means.
This is not true, however, of a different kind of do, called "Action do" or
Act for short.
(See John R. Ross, 1972. "Act", in Davidson & Harman, Semantics of Natural Languages )
This is the do that is the pro-verb for any active verb (just like a pronoun is for nouns),
but which doesn't work with stative verbs like own.
Act do from Do-Support do:
- Bill raked the yard, didn't he? (Do-Support do, active verb)
- Bill use to own that house, didn't he? (Do-Support do, stative verb)
- Raking the yard was not pleasant for Bill, but he did it. (
Actdo, active verb)
- *Owning the house was not pleasant for Bill, but he did it. (
Actdo, stative verb - therefore ungrammatical, whence the asterisk)
Plus any number of other uses for do (Why don't we do it in the road? - both
do's, no waiting)