I found out that doubtless can be used as an adverb as well as undoubtedly.And I don't see the difference. Could someone kindly explain if there's any? Then I found doubtlessly, which is not in every dictionary. Why? Isn't it quite correct to use that? All of them seem to mean "certainly" or "without doubt". Is there any difference in usage?Thank you.

  • Some people will doubtless say that in this sentence I'm primarily implying that I have no doubts about my claim. And if I say it's undoubtedly true, that might be taken to imply that no-one doubts it. All I know for sure is that learners can safely ignore any such distinction - they just need to remember not to use doubtlessly in any context (it's never necessary, and I doubt there are any contexts where it would be "preferred" either). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 19 '17 at 16:39
  • @FumbleFingers so, there's some difference .Can I use both of them to modify a verb (people will undoubtedly say) and adjectives(it is doubtless true)?? Would that sound natural? – V.V. Jan 19 '17 at 17:12
  • I said some people would claim that difference (not me). Not that I'd necessarily know (or indeed care) whether others might agree, but personally I think if there is a shade of difference, it's that undoubtedly might be a little more "emphatic" (partly because it's a bit longer and "posher-sounding", but indubitably wins hands-down on "gravitas" in that respect). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 19 '17 at 17:46
  • Actually, although there's not really any difference in meaning, there is a potential (but really tiny) difference in "acceptable syntax". Overall, they've been used about equally for centuries, but for reasons that aren't clear to me, we'd virtually never refer to a doubtless good X, whereas we do quite naturally refer to an undoubtedly good [idea, say, which unfortunately won't work for some reason]. But although doubtless doesn't work quite so well as an adjective before a noun, it's not ungrammatical. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 19 '17 at 18:00
  • @FumbleFingers, what? There's one more! – V.V. Jan 19 '17 at 18:01

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