Is it correct to say, "I don't feel to trust him," particularly in British English?

I'm actually a native speaker, but I live in Italy with my Italian wife, and so I've got so used to her (English language) mistakes, that sometimes I don't even know if they're mistakes or not.

In any case, this is something my wife says, but it doesn't sound quite natural to me, but I'm just not sure any more.

Is there a more natural way of saying it (in British English, or other dialects)?

3 Answers 3


I have come across this usage of the catenation feel + to-infinitive at Church ('I felt to ask him...'; 'I felt to go to ...') but consider it to be non-standard. I can't find dictionary or Google Ngram support for the catenative usage. Perhaps it is a downtoning of 'I felt led to ask him...' here.

The feel + that-clause

I don't feel [that] I can trust him.

I felt [ ] I ought to ask him.

(whether the 'that' is included or not) is quite acceptable, of course.


I'd say, "I don't feel like trusting him."

  • 1
    Note that "feel like" in this context means "to have an inclination for" (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feel%20like), so your sentence basically means "I don't want to trust him" or "I can't be bothered trusting him". This is different from "I don't feel like I can trust him", which means "It doesn't seem as if I can trust him".
    – nxx
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 13:32
  • But, of course. To trust is a choice, isn't it? Anyway, read the title of this book: amazon.com/Trusting-When-Dont-Feel-Like-ebook/dp/B00HQP5G8I
    – Louel
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 13:34
  • @nxx But I agree that the two sentences have different meanings. we have to ask the OP what he really means. :-)
    – Louel
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 13:35
  • Good point! The OP doesn't actually specify whether they mean choice or belief.
    – nxx
    Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 13:37

I think I would say 'I do not feel inclined to trust him'. I can understand why the Italian might be different. Most would agree that the Italians are more 'touchy-feely' than the English. What a fabulous place it is. Lucky you!

  • 1
    Another alternative that “I don’t feel to trust him” might reflect is “I don’t feel like I can trust him” or, more plainly put, “I feel I can’t trust him”. Commented Feb 8, 2014 at 10:09

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