about "doubt"

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  • hasbeard

    New Member
    American English United States
    Hello, Cuchuflete:

    I wonder if I can say 'I douted constantly whether it was correct"
    You could say this, and be understood, but I feel this might sound better:
    "I constantly doubted whether it was correct."

    Or you might use:
    "I had constant doubts as to whether or not it was correct."


    Senior Member
    American English [AmE]
    All along, I had doubts about it being correct (as to whether it was correct).


    Correctness is an odd word. Do you mean accuracy or something else?

    From the beginning I doubted whether it was correct.
    The WR dictionary has no problem with it

    I see the 'conformity' element of the word as a 'measure' - I doubted the correctness of it = I was unsure just how correct it was.
    And yes, I know that something is either correct or not, but sometimes we do speak of things being more correct.



    Senior Member
    Australia, English

    I had my doubt about its correctiness all along/ from the (very) beginning/all the time
    The correct way to structure a sentence (most especially when writing, as compared to speaking), is to place the setting (ie. time frame or context) first, and the conclusion last. Should you have a ‘time frame’ and ‘context’ in the same sentence, the time frame should come first (it makes the rest of the sentence easier to follow).

    In other words, for your above sentence, it should be properly structured
    “all along, I had my doubts about (as to/regarding) whether or not it was correct”
    ‘whether or not’ is an a shortened (and the common/only) way to say
    ‘whether it was correct, or whether it was not correct’
    . The phrase is used when there is some ‘doubt’ as to the idea <eg accuracy/correctness/courage/loyalty etc> of something.

    -All along, I had doubts about it being correct
    -From the beginning, I had doubts regarding his strength of character

    This isn't a hard and fast rule - it's for ease of comprehension - and as such it applies much more to writing than to speaking.

    “I doubted constantly whether (or not) it was correct”
    This is a funny one in English…it depends on what the person wants to emphasise. If the person wants to emphasise the ‘consistency’ of a doubt, then you would say ‘doubted constantly’ but if you want to emphasise a ‘doubt’ that was consistent, then you would say ‘constantly doubted’…either way is understood.
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