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Examples (somebody is thinking about some thoughts, said by the devil):

  1. Maybe he is right... Or isn't he?

  2. Maybe he is right... Or he isn't?

  3. Maybe he is right... Or even to doubt in his falsehood would be a mistake?

  4. Maybe he is right... Or would it be a mistake even to doubt in his falsehood?

Which variants are correct, please?

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closed as too localized by JSBձոգչ, simchona, kiamlaluno, MετάEd, Matt Эллен Aug 15 '12 at 8:44

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None are correct, actually. All of them are clumsy; no native speaker would say anything like that. You should probably improve this question. EDIT: Now that I see your profile I see you're from Czech Republic. I'm from Slovakia, so yeah, hello there, brother! I'll try to answer your question, but you should still consider improving the question. –  RiMMER Feb 14 '12 at 11:05
    
Sorry, I have asked, what form are acceptable. You have said they are bad. It is the answer. If I correct them, your answer becomes senseless. I think, the site is for people to study. I can imagine a person who would need such bad expressions and explanation, why they are bad. Děkuji :-) –  Gangnus Feb 14 '12 at 11:23
    
Yes, you're right, but in the future, avoid asking 2 different questions in 1 thread, that was primarily my point, even though I didn't claim it directly. The cases (1) and (2) are different from cases (3) and (4), at least there are various points to them which can be discussed and therefore should have different threads. Definitely don't let my first comment discourage you or your future questions. You're welcome on the site! –  RiMMER Feb 14 '12 at 11:27

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Case (1): Let me rewrite it to:

Maybe he's right. Isn't he?

This is the most usual way a native speaker would go with. The or feels redundant in your original sentence. You should keep it out.

Case (2): It could work, but not as a question, rather as a hesitation:

Maybe he's right. (thinking) Or he isn't ... (dramatically)

Cases (3) and (4) both sound clumsy and strange. The biggest problem in your examples is that you're missing it. The proper way would be:

Maybe he's right. Would it be a mistake to even doubt what he says?

You don't usually "doubt someone's falsehood." I can't imagine what that would do to the universe. You usually "doubt someone's opinion / statement."

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Thank you. So, in "dramatically" case it is possible. I'll edit the question. –  Gangnus Feb 14 '12 at 11:13
    
As "he" the devil was meant. I think, it is natural to be sure in his falsehood and sometimes you could doubt in it. –  Gangnus Feb 14 '12 at 11:15
    
Have I understood correctly, that in the third variant "even to doubt in his falsehood" can't work as a subject of the clause? –  Gangnus Feb 14 '12 at 11:17
1  
@Gangnus: You can "doubt he's right" or you can "doubt he's wrong", but I don't understand what "to doubt his falsehood" would mean. It's a very complicated statement which you should probably avoid unless you're talking to a mathematician who knows exactly what you're saying. –  RiMMER Feb 14 '12 at 11:18
    
To be incertain in distrust? Surely, there must be some expression. –  Gangnus Feb 14 '12 at 11:30

I would have said:

He's right, isn't he?

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1  
Thank you. But sometimes people use something more that an example from the textbook for the 1st class. –  Gangnus Feb 14 '12 at 12:57
    
Gangnus: I'm guessing @William was trying to remove all the complexity to make it easier to see a more easily generalizable answer, also to answer exactly the issue at hand without all the distractions. –  Mitch Feb 14 '12 at 14:12

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