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  1. #1
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    Question I think/ I believe

    Dear teachers,
    'I think' and 'I believe' can sometimes be used in a similar way, but can't always be interchangeable, can they?
    Could you explain to me what is the difference please?
    Many thanks,
    Ruofei.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I think/ I believe

    I believe'' can be used to mean 'I think':

    I believe he'll be there = my idea/opinion

    It also has a different meaning of 'accepting something as true':
    He said he was ill and I believe him.- You could not use 'think' here, nor in 'I believe in God'.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I think/ I believe

    As far as I know, there is at least one case that differs 'I know' from 'I believe'

    believe in smth. or doing something = think something is reasonable, worth and so on.

    For instance: I don't believe in tips or I believe in spending time in such way

    Correct me if I wrong :)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I think/ I believe

    Quote Originally Posted by aaa
    [...] or I believe in spending time in such way
    What do you mean by that?

    Actually, one of my students came up with this sentence: "I'm tired, I believe I'll go to bed soon". And I felt it just didn't sound good. Yet, I couldn't clearly explain to her why she should have said: "I think I'll..."
    Now, thanks to Tdol's clarification, I know that nothing is to be taken as a true so she can't use "I believe" in this context.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: I think/ I believe

    That example doesn't make much sense to me either.

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