General Writing and Grammar Help/usage of the word doubt

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Question
Dear Ted,
I'm not sure if the proper expression is "without doubt" or "without a doubt". Thus, I did a google search of the sentence "without a doubt,  you're right." and came up with millions of hits. When I did the same search for the expression "without doubt, you're right" there were only four hits. Then, I checked the Longman online dictionary, and under the word "doubt" saw the following:  without doubt = used to emphasize an opinion: i.e.  Jo is without doubt one of the finest swimmers in the school. Thus, my question is if I want to express that I have no doubt at all about something, should I say "without a doubt" or "without doubt", or are both ways correct? In other words, are both of the following sentences grammatically correct?
1. Without a doubt, you're right.
2. Without doubt, you're right.

Answer
Dear Glen:

JUST A FOLLOW-UP COMMENT:  I really like your sense of humor and your intellectual "wit."  Starting the message with "Without any doubt" really elated me.  I am wearing a big smile.

THANK YOU.

Ted

********************
I'm not sure if the proper expression is "without doubt" or "without a doubt".
Thus, I did a google search of the sentence "without a doubt,  you're right."
and came up with millions of hits. When I did the same search for the expression
"without doubt, you're right" there were only four hits. Then, I checked the
Longman online dictionary, and under the word "doubt" saw the following:  
without doubt = used to emphasize an opinion: i.e.  Jo is without doubt one of
the finest swimmers in the school. Thus, my question is if I want to express
that I have no doubt at all about something, should I say "without a doubt" or
"without doubt", or are both ways correct? In other words, are both of the
following sentences grammatically correct?
1. Without a doubt, you're right.
2. Without doubt, you're right.

***Both are correct.  I tried the "Google" test, leaving off "you're right."
I got 8.5 million for "without doubt" and 30.8 million for "without a doubt.
And then, there is the variation, "without any doubt," which is a stronger statement than the other two.

But, all of these phrases essentially mean the same thing.

They are listed as synonyms in several dictionaries I consulted.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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