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Question vs. Doubt

Question vs. Doubt

Question vs. Doubt

Over the years I have been getting more and more postings that use "Doubt" where I think "Question" should be used.

sir, can you answer my doubt?
i have a doubt can you help me?
my doubt is this, i need to know which i should do.

You will also note the lack of capitol letters at the beginning of a sentence and for the personnel pronoun "I".

Where does the use of "doubt" come from and why?

prognosis: Lead or Lag

RE: Question vs. Doubt

My guess would be "english as a second language".

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.”
-Dalai Lama XIV

RE: Question vs. Doubt

sir, can you answer my doubt? This is grammatically incorect. Question would be correct.

i have a doubt can you help me? This seems to me to be perfectly valid grammatically and contextually. One meaning of doubt is "to have an uncertainty about something".

my doubt is this, i need to know which i should do. Likewise, this is valid.

However neither of the last two usages, although valid, are common in American English.

RE: Question vs. Doubt

"i question your conclusion" or "i have doubts about your conclusion" or "i doubt about your conclusion" seem ok; "i have doubt about your conclusion" seems wrong.

in all your three examples i'd use "question" instead of "doubt", and in the 3rd, "which" should be "what"; and in the 2nd, a comma after "doubt".

"doubt" is a definition category for "question" in the dictionary.
"doubt" is not listed as a synonym for "question" and neither is "question" for "doubt" ... but that could just be Word.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: Question vs. Doubt


Where are you seeing this? I have not seen much or even any of this on Eng-Tips.


RE: Question vs. Doubt

that 'cause we 'rite proper ...

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: Question vs. Doubt

To answer your question;"Where are you seeing this?"

I get these questions (and they are all questions) via e-mail.

prognosis: Lead or Lag

RE: Question vs. Doubt

Quote (drawoh)

Where are you seeing this
In forums frequented by people from the Indian subcontinent. eg



Fortunately, English is one of those forgivable languages: enough people understand what you mean to be able to answer the question even though the wrong words (doubt in place of question) or wrong spellings (batter instead of better, wander instead of wonder) are used.

RE: Question vs. Doubt

(wrong spellings)

... capitol instead of capital.

- Steve

RE: Question vs. Doubt

yes, it's usually easy to spot when someone is translating from their native tongue into english (and no doubt visaversa) ... the english meaning of the word fits, but it's not the word an english speaker would use (like doubt and question).

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: Question vs. Doubt

Sometimes, it is not the translation from the native tongue but mixing with the people who are translating from their native tongue. When I was in Uni, there were people from the Far East using "absolutely" meaning "yes I agree" and English using "where got" (with a wry smile) meaning "I don't agree" or "Ai ya ya" meaning "Oh my gosh". They take that home and their parents start using it too.

RE: Question vs. Doubt

Here is a prime example



The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: Question vs. Doubt

From what I have seen, "doubt" is usually questioning an existing solution, or validity of a proposed course of action. "I have a doubt in this drawing."

"Question" is "I have a question, and no idea how to resolve it."

Makes sense to some degree when used in that context. In the link, "I have a doubt, no idea what material to use" doesn't really make any sense. Ignoring the grammar, it is not technically accurate.

RE: Question vs. Doubt

I think this may be more of a cultural thing. When you 'question' something, for some this is a direct way of communicating. For others, it may seem rude or presumptuous. When you 'doubt' something, for some it may seem deferential to an authority. For others, it is perceived as a sign of weakness, that you have doubts and possibly fears. The people expressing doubts may simply be bowing to your superior knowledge.

If you are offended by the things I say, imagine the stuff I hold back.

RE: Question vs. Doubt

Question - How do you determine the value of pi to 16 using advanced mathematical series?
Doubt - "I doubt I will understand the answer"

RE: Question vs. Doubt

^ 16 decimal places ^

RE: Question vs. Doubt

(Just for fun)

I have doubts about my question.
I have questions about my question.

I have questions about my doubts.
I have doubts about my doubts.

It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. (Sherlock Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia.)

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