Looking at something with/in disbelief?

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Ju-dee

New Member
Dutch
Hi!
I'm translating some Dutch poems (to English) and I'm currently stuck with the phrase - "If you look at the world, with a disbelief in miracles".

I'm not sure if you can look at something with a disbelief?
Is there any way to make this line not just sound good but also grammatically correct?

Thank you!
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The only things amiss are (1) there should be no comma after "world" and (2) you haven't completed the sentence. Yes, you can look at something with a disbelief in something else.
     

    Ju-dee

    New Member
    Dutch
    The only things amiss are (1) there should be no comma after "world" and (2) you haven't completed the sentence. Yes, you can look at something with a disbelief in something else.
    Thank you! That helps. The whole line is
    If you look at the world with disbelief in miracles
    you might as well be blind.

    I'm not sure that's a complete sentence. Poetry seems a bit more tricky to translate for me ;).
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    We can talk about "belief in" something,
    and we can look at something "in disbelief", but you don't want to say "in" twice; this is one of two reasons why "with disbelief" is preferable to "in disbelief".
    The second reason is that "looking at something in disbelief" means not believing what you are seeing (which is not the case in your sentence).
    As I said above, it is normal to speak of "belief in" something, but unusual (in my opinion) to speak of "disbelief in" something.
    Would you find it agreeable to say "If you look at the world without belief in miracles"?
    Belief is a "thing" that you can have or not have; but I'm not sure the same can be said of disbelief.
     
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