If his words are true is suspicious.

Is this sentence grammatically correct? I learned "whether" can be used with "to ー " and "or not", but "if/that" can't do so. I understand this rule but I wonder whether we can use "if" at the position of subject. It's because we grammatically can use "that SV -" as the subject : That I pass the exam is easy. (Basically, we say that it is easy to pass the exam.)

  • No, that does not work at all.
    – Lambie
    Dec 8, 2023 at 19:03

1 Answer 1


Your sentence:

If his words are true is suspicious.

I suggest you expand the sentence. As it stands, its wording is awkward. Here are some suggestions:

  1. His words may be true, but I find them suspicious.

  2. I find his words to be suspicious.

  3. While he claims his words are true, I find them suspicious.

  4. Though he claims his words are true, I find them suspicious.

  5. I suspect his words--that he claims are true--are not true.

  6. I suspect his words are untrue.

If you choose to use a word that is similar in meaning to suspicious, I suggest--thanks to contributor FumbleFingers--you use the word doubt(or doubtful). For example:

  • I doubt that his words are true.

  • I'm doubtful his words are true.

As for starting the sentence with the "if clause," I suggest you try a different approach. You could say,

  • If his words are true, well, I sincerely doubt it.

That sentence is possible, but it is unnecessarily wordy.

  • I'm grad for you to answer my question! I wanna know whether we can use if clause the same as whether clause at the position of subject. What do you think?
    – HARUKA
    Jun 17, 2022 at 14:00
  • 2
    Awkward? I'd say OP's "sentence" is both ungrammatical and nonsensical! Whether his words are true is doubtful is fine, and I could almost (but not quite) accept If his words are true is doubtful. But suspicious makes no sense, and if doesn't work for me in this context. Jun 17, 2022 at 14:02
  • I tried to use "suspicious" like "doubtful". I didn't know the difference between these words. Thank you for telling me.
    – HARUKA
    Jun 17, 2022 at 14:10
  • 1
    At fumbleFingers: Thanks for the additional idea. I'll be sure to include it in the revision of my answer. Don Jun 17, 2022 at 17:39
  • @HARUKA: See my revision for my opinion about the "if clause." Don Jun 17, 2022 at 17:48

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