doubt if, doubt whether, doubt that

doubt if, doubt whether, doubt that
Both doubt and doubtful are often followed by clauses introduced by if, whether, and that. A choice among the three depends upon the kind of sentence involved. That is used when a negative or interrogative idea is involved: "There is little doubt that you are mistaken." "Can you any longer be doubtful that you are mistaken?" Whether is used in statements conveying genuine doubt and uncertainty: "It is doubtful whether he will live." "They doubt whether he was ever there." If is usually to be avoided after both doubt and doubtful, although some accomplished speakers feel that if and whether are interchangeable. Since the use of if is debatable in doubt constructions and the use of whether is limited, why not always use that?

Dictionary of problem words and expressions. . 1975.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • doubt — verb. 1. I doubt whether he ll come and I doubt if he ll come are the standard constructions when doubt is used in the affirmative to mean ‘think it unlikely’. When doubt is used in the negative to mean ‘think it likely’, a that clause is normal …   Modern English usage

  • doubt — I n. 1) to raise (a) doubt (her proposal raised serious doubts in my mind) 2) to cast doubt on 3) to feel doubt; to entertain, harbor doubts about 4) to express, voice (a) doubt 5) to dispel, resolve a doubt 6) a deep, serious, strong; gnawing;… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • doubt — doubt1 [ daut ] noun count *** a feeling of not being certain about something: doubt about/as to: There seems to be some doubt as to whether this is legal. have no/little doubt that: I have no doubt that he will succeed. there is little/no doubt… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • doubt — doubt1 W1S1 [daut] n 1.) [U and C] a feeling of being not sure whether something is true or right ▪ Ally was confident that we would be ready on time, but I had my doubts . doubt about ▪ Elizabeth had no doubts at all about his ability to do the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • doubt — [[t]da͟ʊt[/t]] ♦♦ doubts, doubting, doubted 1) N VAR: oft N about/as to n, N that If you have doubt or doubts about something, you feel uncertain about it and do not know whether it is true or possible. If you say you have no doubt about it, you… …   English dictionary

  • doubt — I UK [daʊt] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms doubt : singular doubt plural doubts *** a feeling of not being certain about something doubt about/as to: There seems to be some doubt as to whether this is legal. have no/little doubt… …   English dictionary

  • doubt — doubtable, adj. doubtably, adv. doubter, n. doubtingly, adv. doubtingness, n. /dowt/, v.t. 1. to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. 2. to distrust. 3. Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about. v.i. 4 …   Universalium

  • doubt — 1 /daUt/ noun 1 UNCERTAIN FEELING (C, U) a feeling or feelings of being uncertain about something (+ about/as to): Maisie expressed private doubts about Lawrence s sanity. (+ whether/who/what etc): There s no doubt who was responsible for this… …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • doubt — [[t]daʊt[/t]] v. t. 1) to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely 2) to distrust 3) archaic to fear 4) to be uncertain 5) a feeling of uncertainty 6) distrust or suspicion 7) a situation causing uncertainty • beyond (a or the shadow …   From formal English to slang

  • doubt if, that, whether —  Idiom demands some selectivity in the choice of conjunction to introduce a clause after doubt and doubtful. The rule is simple: Doubt that should be reserved for negative contexts ( There is no doubt that.. . ; It was never doubtful that.. . )… …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”