In the following sentence which word is correct?

She does not believe ___________ Mr. Sharma can help her.

The two options are

  1. Whether
  2. That

According to me it should be that because she is completely sure that Mr. Sharma can not help her. But my teacher says it should be whether.


"She does not believe whether..." can't happen in English (I'm a native speaker of American English).

"She does not know whether..." would be fine.

  • 2
    Paul T. is quite right and so are you. Only 'That' fits. – Old Brixtonian Jan 16 at 16:29

Whether (=whether or not) is logically impossible here because the verb to believe (unlike e. g. the verb 'to know', possible in its place) doesn't allow for mutually exclusive options (can or cannot here) and usually deals with something definite. So 'that' is the correct choice for this sentence.

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