I have read many examples of the phrase "no doubt". And I have observed that when this phrase is used other negative words like "never, not, nothing" are not used in the sentence like:

No doubt he is the hero of the day.

Am I right?

Or could we say something like:

No doubt not a single bird nest in this tree.

Can we use "no doubt" with other negative words or not?

  • 3
    I don't think there is anything grammatically wrong, but the sentence sounds very clumsy with two separate negatives. Better to say something like No doubt the tree is entirely free of birds' nests. Sep 10, 2021 at 8:23

2 Answers 2


There is a taboo about using double negatives in English, but that only applies if you need one negative and you use two. For example, if you wanted to say that you intended to remain where you are, you could say:

I'm not going anywhere - correct
I'm not going nowhere - incorrect - double negative

There are, however, situations where two negatives are required to convey the correct meaning. Say somebody intends to skip an important social occasion, one might correctly say

You can't not go!

Using 'no doubt' before a negative is fine, because it simply emphasises the truth of whatever follows.

No doubt [there is] not a single bird nest in this tree.

Looking at your sentence, it could perhaps do with a verb, but otherwise it's fine.

Note that no doubt is generally used to reinforce an opinion or prediction, rather than something that is easily verifiable. Here is a more realistic usage:

No doubt there won't be a single bird left in this tree by the time you get your camera out.

  • you wrote : "No doubt [there is] not a single bird nest in this tree."Looking at your sentence, it could perhaps do with a verb, but otherwise it's fine.
    – Learner
    Sep 11, 2021 at 4:58
  • No doubt not a single bird nest in this tree. "nest" is a verb here. So I cannot understand your suggestion. Do I need to add another verb like [there is] as you added?
    – Learner
    Sep 11, 2021 at 5:01
  • 1
    If nest were a verb in this sentence, it would have to be singular because we are talking about a single bird. The sentence would therefore have to be "No doubt not a single bird nests in this tree." If you make nest singular, you don't need there is. This sentence is a much more credible use of no doubt, because whether a bird nests in this tree at some time in the year is an opinion- it is not easily verifiable, whereas whether there is a nest now is easily verifiable.
    – JavaLatte
    Sep 11, 2021 at 7:31
  • I have understood your point now. Thanks
    – Learner
    Sep 12, 2021 at 13:42

As Kate Bunting and other answers explain, the second statement sounds clumsy you can rephrase (which is a better option), but if your focus is not on 'no doubt' rather its usage as an adverb like the usages of also, furthermore etc. The sentence can be made better by the use of a comma. As demonstrated in the following example:

Serena Williams is nursing a sore right elbow – and Maria Sharapova is trying hard, no doubt, not to smile too much. - Guardian- Sports

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