playing the doubting Thomas

Check out today’s Teatime Titbit: Speak like a native – playing the doubting Thomas*.

There are times in meetings or discussions when you can’t/don’t want to remain neutral or ‘sit on the fence’ but you can’t/don’t want disagree with sb either. So it’s a kind of in the middle somewhere.

Welcome to the realm of ‘doubting’ (and remember the ‘b# is silent.!)

‘I doubt …’ (zweifele)

‘I have my/some/serious = grave doubts about …’ (Ich habe Zweifel/Bedenken)

‘to express (ausdrücken) doubts about’.

Here are some other useful phrases with doubt:

There is some doubt about = Es besteht Zweifel

There is no doubt (whatsoever) that = (überhaupt gar) kein Zweifel

Without a shadow of a doubt = ohne den geringsten Zweifel

To raise doubt about = Bedenken zeigen

To caste doubt on = etw in Zeifel ziehen

On a more formal level you can always use the words ‘reservation’ or ‘misgiving’

‘I have reservations/misgivings about …’ (Ich habe Zweifel/Vorbehalte)

‘to express (ausdrücken) reservations/misgivings about’.

However, it is common to use the ‘yes, but’ principal in discussions, whereby we initially use a more positive sounding starter followed by ‘but’.

Here are a couple more to add to your arsenal:

Yes, but …

Up to a point, but ….

To a certain point/extent, but …

* a person who is unlikely to believe something until they see proof of it. From St Thomas in the Bible, who did not believe that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead until he saw and touched his wounds.



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