Believe vs Believe in
“Believe” and “believe in” certainly look very similar, but they are used a bit differently.
What is the difference between “believe” and “believe in”?
1. Believe: to think something is true / factual
Ex: I believe the movie starts at seven o’clock. = I think
Ex: Bob says he has a Ferrari. I don’t believe him. = He’s a liar.
Believe in: to trust something is true (often based on feelings and without proof)
Ex: Do you believe in ghosts?
Ex: No. I don’t believe in anything supernatural.
Compare these sentences:
I believe you son. = I think you told the truth.
I believe in you son. = I trust you. I have faith in you.
Tell me something I can believe. = Tell me facts.
Tell me something I can believe in. = Give me hope / faith.
a. We do not use “believe” in continuous tenses.
X I am believing you.
O I believe you.
Believing in the Tooth Fairy is silly. = gerund
I’m not a believer. = person
The belief that the world is flat is ridiculous. = idea
c. We don’t usually end a sentence with a preposition. When nothing follows “believe”, it takes the same meaning as “believe in”.
X I believe in.
O I believe in magic.
O I believe.
• I don’t believe it!
• Can you believe it?
These all mean “Wow! Amazing!” and can be good or bad.
• Believe you me, tomorrow is going to be great. = Trust me.
• Believe it or not, I’m going to the Super Bowl. = Surprisingly
Now it’s your turn!
1. I don’t __________ the Tooth Fairy.
2. Do you __________ the new tax plan will help low-income families?
A: What do you think about aliens?
B: I want to __________.
4. This line is so SLOW! It’s __________!!
5. I don’t __________ it’s going to rain tomorrow.
6. Can you __________ this guy? He forgot his wallet!
7. You can do it son! I __________ you!
8. He thinks you’re telling the truth. He __________ you.
9. My mom doesn’t like astrology. She’s not a __________.
10. I don’t __________ it! I won the lottery!!
1. believe in 2. believe 3. believe 4. unbelievable 5. believe 6. believe 7. believe in 8. believes 9. believer 10. believe
Like this post? Did I forget something? Let me know!