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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    suspect and doubt

    Dear teachers,

    I have one question to ask:
    Both "suspect" and "doubt" bear the meaning "doubt the truth of something". So please read the sentence:

    I doubt that he will be able to attend the meeting. He still looked awful this morning when I saw him.
    My question is: Can I replace "doubt" with "suspect'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    jamiep is offline Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    No.

    "Suspect" gives the meaning that he will be able to attend the meeting.

    doubt: believe something may not be true.
    suspect: believe something may be true.
    Last edited by jamiep; 13-Oct-2008 at 16:12. Reason: fix typo

  3. #3
    jamiep is offline Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Just to clarify, I'm talking about the verbs here.

    To use suspect as an adjective the meaning is similar to doubtful.

  4. #4
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Dear jamiep,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. The following is from Cambridge Dictionary Online:

    to not trust; to doubt:
    I have no reason to suspect her honesty/loyalty.
    We suspected his motives in making his offer.

    Could you please further explain that?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.
    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by jamiep View Post
    No.

    "Suspect" gives the meaning that he will be able to attend the meeting.

    doubt: believe something may not be true.
    suspect: believe something may be true.

  5. #5
    jamiep is offline Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Just a quick note to say I've seen your question. I'll try and get back to you in detail in a while, I'm a bit busy just now.

    Suspect is a bit more subtle in it's use and will sometimes replace doubt without changing the meaning, but in your original example it doesn't work. I'll have a think to see if I can explain it more clearly.

  6. #6
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Dear jamiep,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. I shall wait for your further explanation.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by jamiep View Post
    Just a quick note to say I've seen your question. I'll try and get back to you in detail in a while, I'm a bit busy just now.

    Suspect is a bit more subtle in it's use and will sometimes replace doubt without changing the meaning, but in your original example it doesn't work. I'll have a think to see if I can explain it more clearly.

  7. #7
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    I'm not a teacher.

    Hi jiang,

    There are a few excerpts of my computer and my Dictionary of Synonyms which have to contribute to make you master of this difficult to master problem.

    suspect (v)

    1. To surmise to be true or probable; imagine: I suspect they are very disappointed.
    2. To have doubts about; distrust: I suspect his motives.
    3. To think (a person) guilty without proof: The police suspect her of murder.

    suspect (v) = to lack trust or confidence in: distrust, doubt, misdoubt, mistrust
    suspect (a) = doubtful (a)
    suspect (v) = believe (imagine to be the case or true or probable), call in question, conclude, conjecture, consider, distrust, doubt, fancy, fel, guess, infer, mistrust, speculate, suppose, surmise
    May I have your attention, please? I have to turn your attention to the meaning of the following synonyms: believe, conclude, conjecture, consider, suppose, surmise.
    suspect (a) = debatable, doubtful, dubious, fishy, questionable, suspicious, unreliable.
    doubt (v)

    1. To be uncertain, disbelieving, or skeptical about: distrust, misdoubt, mistrust, question, wonder. Idioms: have one's doubts.
    2. To lack trust or confidence in: distrust, misdoubt, mistrust, suspect.

    doubt (v) = be dubious, be uncertain, distrust, fear, hesitate, mistrust, query, question, suspect, vacillate, waver


    Regards,

    V.

  8. #8
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I have one question to ask:
    Both "suspect" and "doubt" bear the meaning "doubt the truth of something". So please read the sentence:

    I doubt that he will be able to attend the meeting. He still looked awful this morning when I saw him.
    My question is: Can I replace "doubt" with "suspect'?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    I don't want to complicate an already long thread, but here's my opinion on your sentences;

    I have no reason to suspect her honesty/loyalty.
    You could replace this with "doubt". It has the meaning of "doubt" in Vil's dictionary - uncertain.

    We suspected his motives in making his offer.
    Doubted wouldn't mean the same here. It's not merely that they were uncertain about his motives. They actually suspected some bad intent.

    I doubt that he will be able to attend the meeting. He still looked awful this morning when I saw him.
    Either would suit here. It has the meaning of "doubt" in Vil's dictionary.

  9. #9
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    doubt (v) = be dubious, be uncertain, distrust, fear, hesitate, mistrust, query, question, suspect, vacillate, waver


    Regards,

    V.
    By the way, Vil, theDaffodils were asking about a good Dictionary of Synonyms. This seems to be as good as any. Is this an online one? If not, what's the title?

  10. #10
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: suspect and doubt

    Hi Raymott,

    Unfortunately the Dictionary in question is not an online one. It is a part an parcel of my private library.

    I am speaking of Chambers Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms (redactor Martin H. Manser) is based on Chambers Thesaurus, which itself is drawn from the extensive Chambers English Dictionary database.

    Regards,

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 15-Oct-2008 at 08:26.

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