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Could you tell me the difference in meaning between

I suspect he did not do it

and

I doubt he did not do it

?

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2 Answers 2

Suspect and doubt are antonyms, they mean the opposite things, so in order for the sentences to have the same meaning, the negative on one of the sentences needs to be flipped.

Ie.

I suspect that he did not do it.

means the same as

I doubt that he did it.

Similarly:

I suspect that he did it.

means the same as

I doubt that he did not do it.

But this last sentence is very clumsy and confusing because of the double negative, it would be better to say

I doubt that he is innocent.

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Suspecting and doubting are opposite concepts.

1) "I think [that] he did it":

I suspect [that] he did it

I don't doubt [that] he did it

2) "I don't think [that] he did it":

I suspect [that] he did not do it

I doubt [that] he did it

You may have noticed that the negative form of each verb differs in how it is constructed:

I suspect [that] he did not...

I don't doubt [that] he...

(Words in square brackets are optional -- the inclusion of 'that' makes the sentence sound slightly more formal.)

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