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Thread: doubt

  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    doubt

    Dear teachers,

    I was taught that doubt should be followed by 'whether/if' clause in declarative sentences and it should be followed by 'that' clause if it is an interrogative or negative sentence. But I found the following two sentences in Cambridge dictionary:
    1. I doubt whether/if I can finish the work on time. (This is correc according to the grammatical rule).
    2. [+ that] They had begun to doubt that it could be completed in time.
    This is a declarative sentence but it is followed by 'that' clause. Could you please explain why?
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

  2. #2
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    Re: doubt

    To me, "doubt if" is slang, and "doubt whether" is very formal.

    I doubt if you can do it. (Slang, but very common)
    I doubt whether you do do it. (Formal, not common)
    I doubt that you can do it, or
    I doubt you can do it. (Normal conversation.)

    I don't like the rule you were taught. It doesn't reflect very well how we actually use "doubt."

    regards
    baqarah

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Re: doubt


    Dear baqarah,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by baqarah131 View Post
    To me, "doubt if" is slang, and "doubt whether" is very formal.

    I doubt if you can do it. (Slang, but very common)
    I doubt whether you do do it. (Formal, not common)
    I doubt that you can do it, or
    I doubt you can do it. (Normal conversation.)

    I don't like the rule you were taught. It doesn't reflect very well how we actually use "doubt."

    regards
    baqarah

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