Hi, Would someone please tell me what's the difference between 'believe' and 'believe in'? Thanks!
Full Member359
Hi,

I don't want to repeat all the meanings in the dictionary, but here are a few.

I believe Tom. I think that he has told me the truth.

I believe in Tom. I trust Tom.

I believe in God. I think God exists.

I believe that it is raining. I think this is a correct fact.

Best wishes, Clive
Veteran Member69,557
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Oh, the third one helps me a lot. Actually I'm reading something similar and when I asked this question I didn't know it would be 'think God exists'. Thanks a lot!
Anonymous:
I think to stay consistent, you should use the term "believe in" the same way when referring to God or Tom. The only way this would make sense is if "believe in" were used as follows:
I believe in Tom. I trust Tom.
I believe in God. I trust God.
It would not make much sense if you said, "I believe in Tom. I think Tom exists" So it makes just as much sense to say "I believe in God. I think God exists"
In the reference to whether God exist or not, you can say "I believe God exists".
Anonymous think to stay consistent, you should use the term "believe in" the same way when referring to God or Tom. The only way this would make sense is if "believe in" were used as follows:I believe in Tom. I trust Tom.I believe in God. I trust God.
Clive was not talking about what he thought people should do to be consistent; he was telling us, correctly, how people actually do use the word.
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Anonymous:
No, Clive seemed to be referring to dictionaries, when he said, "I don't want to repeat all the meanings in the dictionary, but here are a few." In that list, there seemed to be a contradiction. I was just pointing out that contradiction. Now, if Clive had said something along the line of, "This is the way most people use the terms". I would have agreed with you, and not have commented on the subject.
There is no contradiction. We use words in different ways in different situations.
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Anonymous:
Yes, which makes it very difficult, to answer the original question: "What's the difference between 'believe' and 'believe in'?".
At least, somewhere along the line, I seem to have helped ESLBeginner a bit, so all is not totally lost.Emotion: wink
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