How does one render in French expressions such as "Who would doubt it?", "Who would think so?" More specifically, is it more appropriate to use the conditional tense (Qui douterait ça ?"), or the imperfect (Qui doutait ça ?), or perhaps there is an equivalent French expression?


The conditional is what I would use:

Qui douterait de ça ?

Qui en douterait ?

Qui pourrait en douter ?

Qui penserait ça ?

Qui le penserait ?

Qui pourrait penser ça ?

  • I'm glad to see that "Qui en douterait?" is idiomatic and on your list because I really like to use "en" and that's what first came to my non-native mind to use with "douterait." I was even tempted to think that "en" might work with "penserait," but your bolding of "de" at the top of the list reminded me that "penser" takes a direct object. To satisfy my desire to use/overuse "en" whenever I can get away with it, could "en" be used with "croirait" or even "se douterait" to approximate the notion of "Who would think so/that"?:ie, "Qui en croirait?/Qui s'en douterait?"?
    – Papa Poule
    Feb 24 '20 at 23:28
  • 2
    @PapaPoule Qui en penserait ? doesn't work indeed but qui en penserait autrement ? while rare is possible. Qui penserait à ça ? is possible, but the meaning is slightly different ("think about it" vs "think so"). Qui en croirait ? doesn't work alone, but is possible in, for example, qui en croirait un seul mot ?, otherwise that's qui y croirait ?. Qui s'en douterait ? is possible but the meaning is the opposite: Qui en douterait ? means everyone is expected to believe it while Qui s'en douterait ? means everyone is expected not to guess it.
    – jlliagre
    Feb 25 '20 at 1:11
  • Thank you! The point about the preposition is also a revealing one. Although now I am confused about penser à qqch/qqn: could it also be: Qui y penserait? Feb 25 '20 at 6:35
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    Yes, qui y penserait ? is fine for penser à qqch/qqn. TLFi: Je pensai à Anne. J'y pensai d'une telle manière que je m'assis sur mon lit, le cœur battant (Sagan, Bonjour tristesse, 1954, p. 76).
    – jlliagre
    Feb 28 '20 at 10:22

Qui aurait des doutes là-dessus ?

Qui mettrait ça en doute ?

Chez qui ça éveillerait des doutes ?

  • I like your answer too. However it has less of the idiomatic sense that I was looking for. Thanks! Feb 25 '20 at 12:04

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