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Senior Member
french belgium

A: The customer wants to return the unit as his own expense
B: It s not what he said to me.
A: What did he say?
B: That he wanted us to arrange a collection.
A: I am a bit doubtful about what he said
I am a bit dubious about what he said.

Would you use either doubtful and dubious in this context?
I don't know how to use these two words.

Thank you in advance.

  • Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I think they can be used interchangeably in the meaning that has some doubts. Here's what the WR dictionary says:
    doubtful, dubious

    fraught with uncertainty or doubt; "they were doubtful that the cord would hold"; "it was doubtful whether she would be admitted"; "dubious about agreeing to go"

    The practical use will be clearly explained by natives, I'm sure. :)



    Senior Member
    Hi volver,
    The way I use these words is, I think, a matter of my own personal preference, and should not be taken as any sort of rule:

    In general I only use "dubious" to refer to things that make people doubtful, and I use "doubtful" to refer either to dubious things or to people who find something dubious. So in your example, "what she said is dubious/doubtful; I'm doubtful about it."

    For me, "dubious" applied to a person refers to a person of questionable character - "Look at that Kitenok; he looks a bit dubious, don't you think?" I suppose the reason that I avoid applying "dubious" to people in the meaning of "having doubt" is to avoid any confusion with this specialized meaning. The meaning of "I'm dubious" might end up being, well, dubious.
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