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  1. #1
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default no doubt - swan vs. all other sources

    Hello, I have just found an interesting entry in Swan's Practical English Usage. It is about the the phrase 'no doubt'. In the book you find literally: No doubt means 'probably' or 'I suppose', not 'certainly'. Example: No doubt it'll rain soon. It seemed strange so I decided to search a bit and literally on every website, people said it is used when you are absolutely sure, which is in contradiction with Swan. What is the truth?

  2. #2
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    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: no doubt - swan vs. all other sources

    NOT A TEACHER

    Longman is in agreement with Swan.

    2 no doubt used when you are saying that you think something is probably true : No doubt you’ll have your own ideas.
    She was a top student, no doubt about it (= it is certainly true ) .

    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/doubt_1

  3. #3
    TomUK is offline Member
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    Default Re: no doubt - swan vs. all other sources

    Not a teacher!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    Longman is in agreement with Swan.
    Dito the OALD.

    TomUK

  4. #4
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: no doubt - swan vs. all other sources

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    NOT A TEACHER

    Longman is in agreement with Swan.

    2 no doubt used when you are saying that you think something is probably true : No doubt you’ll have your own ideas.
    She was a top student, no doubt about it (= it is certainly true ) .

    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/doubt_1


    To be quite honest, I am absolutely confused. Does 'no doubt' mean something different than 'no doubt about'?

    Even by thinking about the sentence you quoted:No doubt you’ll have your own ideas. - NO (expressing negative) - DOUBTS (a feeling of unCERTAINTY - you'll have your own ideas ( the rest of the sentence is just confirming the fact that is certain that you will have your own ideas - who wouldn't have their own ideas? - It's certain)

    MACMILLAN ONLINE DICTIONARY:

    no doubt




    In the first one, the certainty is also mentioned.


    And apart from your sources:
    What does no doubt mean? - Yahoo! Answers - saying you are 100% sure

    What does no doubt mean? definition, meaning and pronunciation (Free English Language Dictionary) - saying the usage of 'no doubt' as an adverb is rare

    http://www.usingenglish.com/forum/as...oubt-mean.html - Dr. Ibrahim says - 'no doubt' = shortened '
    there is no doubt about it'

    no doubt - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia. - certainly is on the first place, the latter definition is probably - BUT Swan says that we do NOT use it for expressing
    certainty
    Hope you help me
    Last edited by tom3m; 27-Jul-2012 at 08:08.

  5. #5
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: no doubt - swan vs. all other sources

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post


    To be quite honest, I am absolutely confused. Does 'no doubt' mean something different than 'no doubt about'?
    I think so.

    No doubt about it = you think that something is definitely true.
    Without (a) doubt = you think that something is definitely true.
    No doubt = you think that something is probably true.

  6. #6
    tom3m is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: no doubt - swan vs. all other sources

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    I think so.

    No doubt about it = you think that something is definitely true.
    Without (a) doubt = you think that something is definitely true.
    No doubt = you think that something is probably true.
    So the sources above are mostly wrong, though written by natives or as a dictionary entry. I am confused because of the number of people saying the opposite of your definiton i.e. no doubt means certainty, but I am going to trust you. However, I do not think my teacher would actually belive it. Thanks for your help.

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