AEE 449: Why You Should Doubt Your False Friends in English

English common mistakes for Brazilians

Do you use false friends in English?

Today we’re going to talk about one false friend that we think is a major problem for a lot of Portuguese speakers.

Here is the WRONG phrase that we hear a lot: “I have a doubt + (the question)”

What is wrong with this phrase?

We use the word “doubt” when we are skeptical about something but it’s not used in English to ask a question.

Are you translating directly from your native language? If so then it’s a false friend and you need to stop!

If you have a question you can say:

  • “I have a question…”
  • “I’m wondering about something…”
  • “I have a quick question…”
  • “I’m confused about something…”

 

How do we use “doubt”:

  • “Don’t doubt yourself”
  • “I doubt it will rain tonight”
  • “Are you having any doubts about being abroad”

 

What about pronunciation?

Don’t pronounce the “B” in “doubt” just like in “debt” or “subtle” or “comb” or “numb” or “limb”

 

Have you made this mistake in English?

If so, hopefully you won’t do it again.

Let us know your questions below.

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