Answer to English Grammar Question 86

What is the literal meaning of this sentence: "I had no doubt that you would not succeed."

From member: Pat Finan in USA


Answer

It looks like it means that the speaker was absolutely sure that the person they are speaking to would fail.
However, there is an Irish way of putting things (and your name suggests that you may have links with the Emerald Isle) which reverses the 'clear' meaning and means that the speaker was quite sure that failure was out of the question and therefore that they were always confident of success. Perhaps a less Irish way of saying this would be 'I never thought that you would fail.'
Ah, 'tis a wonderful thing the English langauge!



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