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Forgorin



Joined: 30 Oct 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:38 am    Post subject: For Fluffyhamster Reply with quote

Fluffyhamster,

Two sentences;
There is some doubt as to whether he will be elected.
There is some doubt as to if he will be elected.

They both seem fine to me. Do you think there is anything wrong with the last sentence?

Cheers,
Forgorin
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fluffyhamster



Joined: 26 Oct 2004
Posts: 3003
Location: UK > China > Japan > UK again

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In both sentences, the 'as to whether/if' part is a bit redundant, given the meaning of 'doubt', but once one has started down this wordier route then the '...if' phrasing does for whatever reason sound less smooth compared to the '...whether'. I wouldn't say either sentence is wrong, though, just that the '...whether' phrase appears the more common.

One thing you might like to show or ask your students is how removing or rephrasing the "impersonal" existential would affect the rest of the sentence (i.e. turn the 'some' into an ellipted noun phrase ['some people'], the 'doubt' from a noun into a verb, and require the removal of the unnecessary padding):

(There are) Some (who) doubt [[as to] if/whether] he'll be elected.
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