<a> little doubtful that/if/whether....

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sagar grammar

Senior Member
Namaste,
Dear members.

Please have a look at this sentence and tell me if my interpretation is wrong.

1- Sarala was little doubtful that he will ever reach that place.

I think it should be "a little" instead of "little", but then "that" should have to be changed into "if/whether".

:(
<-----Sequential posts merged by moderator (Florentia52)----->

I am not sure about the phrase "should have to be" being correct.

I am also confused by the word "ever" that is used in an affirmative sentence here.
[it! Ever
 
Last edited:
  • sagar grammar

    Senior Member
    Where did you see this sentence?
    (It is not on page I see when I follow your link.)
    The link doesn't have the sentence, the misunderstanding is created dur to the edit done by the moderator.

    The link was to show that the word "ever" is used in negative or interrogative sentences but not in affirmative sentences.
    So is the sentence in the OP correct?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    The link was to show that the word "ever" is used in negative or interrogative sentences but not in affirmative sentences.
    So is the sentence in the OP correct?
    Well, that's in fact a 'negative sentence' there because it has the word doubtful: if you're doubtful about something, you don't think it's going to happen.

    So "...doubtful that he would ever reach [it]" is correct (you need to backshift "will" to "would" because of the past tense in "was" at the beginning).

    But I agree with your original comment that you need to say "a little doubtful": it doesn't make sense otherwise.

    All things considered, that sentence as it stands is a bit of a mess. :mad:
     

    sagar grammar

    Senior Member
    Well, that's in fact a 'negative sentence' there because it has the word doubtful: if you're doubtful about something, you don't think it's going to happen.

    So "...doubtful that he would ever reach [it]" is correct (you need to backshift "will" to "would" because of the past tense in "was" at the beginning).

    But I agree with your original comment that you need to say "a little doubtful": it doesn't make sense otherwise.

    All things considered, that sentence as it stands is a bit of a mess. :mad:
    Great!
    Thanks.
    Love you.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    1- Sarala was little doubtful that he will ever reach that place. :cross:
    1- Sarala is a little doubtful that/if/whether he will ever reach that place. :tick:
    1- Sarala was a little doubtful that/if/whether he would ever reach that place. :tick:


    Note that omitting the indefinite article before little changes its meaning significantly in certain constructions:

    I have little doubt about it = I have almost no doubt
    I have a little doubt about it = I have a small amount of doubt

    Ever just means “at any time”.
     
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