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  1. Yourjones
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    #1

    I believe this is not true.

    Hello

    I was told I should not say "I believe this is not true" when I can say "I don't believe this is true". Is this a rule that I must follow? And what is this rule called?

    Thanks.

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    I think the definition below is a telling explanation.
    'Believe
    to be sure that something is true' (My emphasis.) ── quoted from http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/believe
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Some experts say (and I believe them) that the farther away the word "not" is from the beginning of a sentence, the less harsh (rude) it sounds.

    If my boss (if I were working) told me that my supervisor had said bad things about me and if I did not believe my boss (that is, I thought that he was, well, lying to me), I would definitely say, "Excuse me, sir, but I believe that is not true" instead of "No way! I don't believe that is true!" (If I did, I would probably be looking for a new job the next day.)


    *****

    The idea (that putting the negative toward the end of the sentence is more courteous) is shown, I believe, in these two sentences that I have made up:

    "Go away! I don't have any money."
    "I'm sorry, but I have no money."

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    "I believe this is not true" is perfectly fine. "I believe that is not true" is also good.)

  5. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    I would definitely say, "Excuse me, sir, but I believe that is not true".
    Why not say '... I think that is not true'?
    I am not a teacher.

  6. Yourjones
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    #6

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    Thanks. What if I say "I think he is not right"? Should I say "I don't think he is right"?

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    #7

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    I believe there is no mistake in the OP's original sentence.
    Another definition can be found here: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/de...nglish/believe.

    Meaning #2 in that definition:
    "2 [with clause] Hold (something) as an opinion; think"


    Maybe it is not that telling but still it is no less reliable.

    I am not a teacher.

  8. Yourjones
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    #8

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    Can't be clearer, thanks! I guess "None of my friends likes him" sounds quite similar to "All of my friends don't like him". Am I right? Any difference?

  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Why not say '... I think that is not true'?
    That is good too.

  10. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: I believe this is not true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yourjones View Post
    Thanks. What if I say "I think he is not right"? Should I say "I don't think he is right"?
    Those are both fine.

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