Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

give benefit of the doubt

give benefit of the doubt
Meaning(s)
1) assume the innocence or truthfulness of someone even if you cannot be sure
  • How to MemorizePopularity HighProfessional HighSocial
    • be willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt
  • Analysis

    If you say you intend to give someone the benefit of the doubt it means you intend to accept that something or someone is true or has honest intentions when there is no evidence to suggest otherwise. If you give someone 'the benefit of the doubt' you intend to trust someone until they are proven wrong even if you have doubts. This is an idiom used in both social and professional contexts.


  • Social Examples (Basic)
    1. There may be a good reason why Adam wasn't here tonight, so let's give him the benefit of the doubt rather than criticizing him for not showing up.
    2. Paul insisted that it wasn't him who took my money. I wasn't sure if he was telling the truth, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. Even though the journalist was accused of fabricating a story, I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt because I've worked with her long enough to know that she would never deliberately do such a thing.
  • Further Suggestions
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