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English Lesson # 170– To give benefit of doubt (Idiom)

In this English speaking lesson you will learn how to use the English idiom To give benefit of doubt  to someone. We hope ESL lesson would help you to improve your English vocabulary and speak fluent English. Sometimes, when your relatives, friends or colleagues tell you something, you may doubt whether it is true or not. You are unsure about what they say. So, you take things at face value rather than giving it much thought.

The idiom ‘to give someone the benefit of doubt’ basically means to believe someone even when you are unsure about their genuineness. When you decide to give someone the benefit of doubt, you believe the person rather than being suspicious when you have the possibility of doing either.

So, if you trust someone and give them a fair chance without being judging them, you are actually giving them the benefit of doubt. Giving someone the benefit of doubt refers to an adoption of a positive opinion or judgement when there is not sufficient proof or evidence to think otherwise.

For example, a friend of yours is full of himself and brags about himself all the time. He tells you that he is the highest paid and the most talented employee in his organization. You may doubt the validity of what he says as you know he loves to praise himself. But as you do not have any proof, you decide to believe him and take whatever he says at face value. That means you give him the benefit of doubt.

English sentences for Practice :

Example 01: When Mary didn’t do her homework, the teacher didn’t give her the benefit of doubt and decided to punish her.

Example 02: When she saw her husband talking over the phone very secretly, Samantha gave him the benefit of doubt rather than suspecting him.

Example 03: Even though Sarah was unsure about the claims made by the anti-ageing cream, she decided to give it the benefit of doubt and bought it.

Example 04: Sally’s colleagues are tired of giving her the benefit of doubt whenever she calls in sick. They no longer believe it to be genuine.

Example 05: While narrating her experience with ghosts, Juliet refused to believe it and didn’t bother giving her friend the benefit of doubt.

Example 06: When mother realized that her daughter had developed the habit of smoking, she refused to listen to any justifications and didn’t give her daughter the benefit of doubt.

Example 07: To save a few bucks, Michelle had to give the store keeper the benefit of doubt while buying her new phone from the grey market.

Example 08: When the coach yelled at his team for no reason, they didn’t react as they knew he was disturbed about something and gave him the benefit of doubt that day.

Are you someone who easily gives the benefit of doubt to people?

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