Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #1

    I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    Are they absolutely identical in meaning?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,502
    #2

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    To me, the former expresses greater certainty.

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jun 2009
    • Posts: 1,681
    #3

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    To me, the former expresses greater certainty.
    So, can we say that "I believe you are right" = "You are certainly right" while
    "I think you are right" means someting like "You must be right"?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,627
    #4

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    So, can we say that "I believe you are right" = "You are certainly right" while
    "I think you are right" means someting like "You must be right"?
    No, I don't think you can say that.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 24,502
    #5

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    So, can we say that "I believe you are right" = "You are certainly right" while
    "I think you are right" means someting like "You must be right"?

    No — I didn't say that.

    'I believe you are right' = 'To the best of my knowledge you are right'.

    'I think you are right' = 'My opinion is that you are right'.

  4. konungursvia's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Mar 2009
    • Posts: 5,158
    #6

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    To me, the former expresses greater certainty.
    I agree completely that they express different levels of certainty, but here, "I believe" is generally less certain than "I think" -- or rather, "I think" can go very strong, if you stress the pronoun, and quite moderate, if you stress both of the first two words equally, or favour the verb.

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #7

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    I agree completely that they express different levels of certainty, but here, "I believe" is generally less certain than "I think" -- or rather, "I think" can go very strong, if you stress the pronoun, and quite moderate, if you stress both of the first two words equally, or favour the verb.
    In my opinion, "believe" is stronger than "think". And yes, spoken stress can make a difference.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,134
    #8

    Re: I believe you are right / I think you are right.

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    "I believe" is generally less certain than "I think" -- or rather, "I think" can go very strong, if you stress the pronoun, and quite moderate, if you stress both of the first two words equally, or favour the verb.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    I believe you are right' = 'To the best of my knowledge you are right'.

    'I think you are right' = 'My opinion is that you are right'.
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    In my opinion, "believe" is stronger than "think". And yes, spoken stress can make a difference.
    Confused, englishhobby?

    I think that these answers reflect the fact that there is no clear answer to your question. Different people have different ideas. My own opinion, and it's no more 'right' than anybody else's, is that there is no significant difference in meaning between 'think' and 'believe' in your sentence except for any that may be conveyed by word-stress and intonation.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •