I have a doubt / I am doubtful about ...

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Pitt

Senior Member
German
Hi everybody!

I'd like to know if both constructions are correct:

1. I have a doubt about this sentence.
2. I am doubtful about this sentence.

Regards
 
  • xqby

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I don't think that I would ever write the first sentence. "Doubt" just isn't used that way in English.

    It would help to know what you're trying to say with (2). I wouldn't use it to mean "I am unsure that this sentence is grammatically correct."
     
    Last edited:

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    As a note, though, "doubt" is often a direct translation, particularly from Spanish, where it would be more common in English to use "question".

    "I have a question about this sentence" would be a very common way of asking for help with a sentence.

    To have a doubt about a sentence seems to point to the content of the sentence rather than the structure, as if you don't believe what the sentence says rather than having a problem with the syntax or grammar of the sentence.
     

    novasonic

    Senior Member
    Argentinian Spanish
    I've always used I have a doubt :) But I didn't know that it was incorrect according to the members that posted on top :) I have learnt something new, thanks.
     

    Pitt

    Senior Member
    German
    Many thanks for the explanations! If I have a question about the grammatical construction of a sentence I say:

    I have a question about this sentence.

    Is this correct?
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    As a note, though, "doubt" is often a direct translation, particularly from Spanish, where it would be more common in English to use "question".

    "I have a question about this sentence" would be a very common way of asking for help with a sentence.

    To have a doubt about a sentence seems to point to the content of the sentence rather than the structure, as if you don't believe what the sentence says rather than having a problem with the syntax or grammar of the sentence.
    How about:

    1) I am doubtful on the sentence.

    2) I am doubtful of the sentence.

    3) I am doubtful over the sentence.

    4) I am doubtful upon the sentence.

    Thank you very much.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    In BE we could certainly say I have my doubts about this sentence, which means the same as sentence 2.
    How about:

    1) I have my doubts on this sentence.

    2) I have my doubts of this sentence.

    3) I have my doubts upon this sentence.

    4) I have my doubts over this sentence.

    Thank you very much.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    What do you think these sentences mean? That is important to know before answering the question.

    In American English, these statements usually mean that you question the credibility or veracity of the sentence, not that you have a concern about how it is constructed.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    What do you think these sentences mean? That is important to know before answering the question.

    In American English, these statements usually mean that you question the credibility or veracity of the sentence, not that you have a concern about how it is constructed.
    I am sorry for for confusing you by my unclear words. I intend to find out which is the idiomatic preposition collated with "doubt" in this sentence.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    What are you intending to communicate with the word "doubts" in this sentence? If it's the same as above the best preposition is the one e2efour gave: "about". The others are not idiomatic, in my opinion.
     

    Sun14

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    What are you intending to communicate with the word "doubts" in this sentence? If it's the same as above the best preposition is the one e2efour gave: "about". The others are not idiomatic, in my opinion.
    I am sorry. I don't understand. Let me explain. I see the question in post 7 and you answer it is correct in post 8. I was wondering whether those preposition(about, on, over, upon, of) can used interchangeably in the same sentence.
     

    EStjarn

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I intend to find out which is the idiomatic preposition collated with "doubt" in this sentence.
    There are indications that 'doubt' collocates with the preposition 'over', although not necessarily in "I have my doubts [preposition] this sentence."

    Oxford Collocations Dictionary (2009) and the online Ozdic Collocation Dictionary both give this:
    Preposition [...]

    ~ about , ~ over: Some committee members still had doubts about the plans.

    Phrases [...]

    have your doubts about something: They say they'll be here on time, but I have my doubts about that.
     

    tetulio5

    Senior Member
    Spanish-España
    I think it is fine. Please pay attention to the typing: I'm still doubting about buyin​g this or that product
    Thank you so much Sun14. Sorry for my typing mistake. " I'm still doubting about buying this or that product"
     
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