In this blog, I read the following sentence:

As he completes two years of his term as prime minister, there’s no doubting the passion of Indian premier Narendra Modi.

Check out the bold portion of the sentence. I've checked that 'doubting the passion' is not an idiomatic expression. My question is: Don't we require a preposition before 'the passion'? If we require then which preposition suits better here.

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    I don't think you need a preposition there. The sentence looks grammatically accurate.
    – Varun Nair
    May 17, 2016 at 9:57
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    'There's no doubting the passion' is not an idiomatic expression, as in it's not an idiom; but 'There's no doubting something' is idiomatic. So the clause is fine. May 17, 2016 at 11:04
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    I don't like the sentence as a whole. It's messy. The subject of the dependent clause (as he...) is Modi; but to use an existential clause there's no doubting as the independent clause in this same sentence is rather sloppy scribbling. I can't actually call it writing. May 17, 2016 at 11:11
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    @AlanCarmack: Really? It reads perfectly comfortably to me. To say you "can't call it writing" is at best fantastical hyperbole, and at worst just plain rude. May 17, 2016 at 14:15
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    Yes, the sentence is absolutely fine. May 18, 2016 at 7:18

3 Answers 3



The verb 'doubt' is transitive there. I mean the verb goes like "doubt something" so doubt + something with no preposition.

Check this entry on OALD

doubt something - There seems no reason to doubt her story.

  • 1
    True, but note that even with transitive verbs, we often use of between the gerund form and its object (as in The Taming of the Shrew, "the breaking of the glass", etc.). It's actually a rather complicated area of English grammar; gerunds are sometimes nounlike (taking adjectives and determiners and of) and sometimes verblike (taking adverbs and no determiners and no of), and it's not always easy to explain why.
    – ruakh
    May 18, 2016 at 6:03
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    There's no doubting that nuance @ruakh ^-^
    – Maulik V
    May 18, 2016 at 6:23

It is quite natural:

There's no doubting the class system is alive and well in Britain, and there's no doubting where I belong: in the public bars with the workers!!! (Chris Brady, 2012)

And its use has been increasing over the years:

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However, here's a comparison with "there is no doubt in":

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And here is a comparison of the previous two with "there is no doubt that":

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You probably thought that the sentence should include a construction with doubt + preposition instead of "doubting":

As he completes two years of his term as prime minister, there’s no doubt in the passion of Indian premier Narendra Modi.


As he completes two years of his term as prime minister, there’s no doubt that Indian premier Narendra Modi is passionate about his job.

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    @RuchirM Not at all! "There is no doubt" can stand alone because 'doubt' is an abstract noun. But then, "there's no doubting" needs something to follow and in this case, it's the passion!
    – Maulik V
    May 17, 2016 at 10:39
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    There's no doubting the _____ has been in use for several hundred years. It's legit. May 17, 2016 at 10:58
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    @ToddWilcox - does "idiomatic" necessarily imply that something is an idiom? I thought this adjective vaguely indicates that this or that phrase is a naturally-sounding phrase. May 17, 2016 at 16:57
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    @ToddWilcox - I believe it has the meaning of "natural" too. But since you insist, I've changed it to from "idiomatic" to "natural" to be less misguiding. May 17, 2016 at 17:05
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    +1 for the ngram counts, but I don’t think your example, “There’s no doubting the class system is alive and well…”, is the same construction as the one in the question. Yours is of the form “there’s no doubting [finite clause]”, while the original example is of the form “there’s no doubting [noun phrase]”.
    – PLL
    May 17, 2016 at 23:36

The link URL below is too long for a comment, so I'll make it an answer, though Maulik gets a +1 for the point about the transitivity.

There's no doubting the _______ is a legitimate phrase and has been in use for several hundred years.

Consider these uses as shown in the Ngram query is no doubting the *

P.S. There's no doubting the ________ puts the characteristic that fits into the slot in a brighter spotlight than does the less forceful alternative, "There's no doubt that X is {adjective}"

  • About the transitivity of doubt, I doubt that (especially when you mentioned that it's been in used for centuries). In OED1, doubt as an intransitive verb is documented. May 18, 2016 at 11:59
  • doubt is both a transitive and an intransitive verb. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doubt I doubted his word. I doubted his thoroughness. He is not a believer; he doubts. May 18, 2016 at 12:07

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