Results 1 to 6 of 6
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #1

    some doubt that/whether

    There exists some doubt ________ Apple's iPhone4 can work wonderfully as expected.

    A. that B. whether C. which D. when

    The given answer is B. But I think A works just as well. Am I right?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #2

    Re: some doubt that/whether

    Quote Originally Posted by joham View Post
    There exists some doubt ________ Apple's iPhone4 can work wonderfully as expected.

    A. that B. whether C. which D. when

    The given answer is B. But I think A works just as well. Am I right?
    Yes, in my opinion.

    With some verbs expressing in themselves lack of certainty it appears that THAT and IF can both be used, with little practical difference in meaning between:

    1. I doubt if he was there.
    2.I doubt that he was there.

    In [1] the uncertainty about his being there may be stronger than in [2]; only the context of the utterance can make this clear. The difference is not important for practical purposes.

    With absence of doubt we return to certainty, and THAT is now the only appropriate choice:

    3. I don't doubt that he succeeded.

    Adapted from: http://www.gramorak.com/Articles/If.pdf

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 202
    #3

    Re: some doubt that/whether

    I have always found the following rule useful:

    Use 'whether' if the doubt is positive, 'that' if it is negative or a question. So:

    "I doubt whether it will work" = it won't work, in my opinion

    "I have no doubt that it will work" = it will work

    "Do you doubt that it will work?" = Is it your opinion that it won't work?

    The same applies to 'doubtful'.

    Sorry to muddy the waters.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #4

    Re: some doubt that/whether

    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    I have always found the following rule useful:

    Use 'whether' if the doubt is positive, 'that' if it is negative or a question
    Examples in the corpora suggest that this 'rule' is not widely followed.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,618
    #5

    Re: some doubt that/whether

    Thank you for all your kind help. After reading your replies, I looked up the word 'doubt' in LONGMAN DICTIONARY ONLINE, and found to my surprise the following collocation:
    there is little/some/no doubt (that) (=used to talk about how certain you are about something)

    Does the collocation in blue mean that 'whether' can't be used?

    Thank you again.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Feb 2011
    • Posts: 202
    #6

    Re: some doubt that/whether

    That's confusing!

    Once there is actual doubt, I would use 'whether'. So:

    1. There is no doubt that...

    2. There is little doubt that...

    3. There is some doubt whether...

    1 & 2 are saying almost the same thing: there is certainty. But 3 is saying something completely different and 'whether' emphasizes this uncertainty.

Similar Threads

  1. Doubt if vs. Doubt whether
    By Kel in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Mar-2008, 02:10
  2. doubt
    By kiranjyo in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 14-Mar-2008, 11:02
  3. doubt
    By drake73 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Feb-2008, 21:01
  4. i have a doubt
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-Feb-2008, 05:14
  5. doubt
    By san in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 10-Jun-2007, 20:41

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •