Grammar 101: Belief vs. Believe

by IELTS Australia — October 10th, 2017

Belief vs. believe: Two words that can cause some confusion and it’s well worth to spend a few minutes to know the difference between the two.

Because “belief” and “believe” are homophones (words that sound alike), they are often confused. Some tips on telling them apart.

Click each topic to learn more about the differences between its and it’s.

Belief vs. believe: the difference
Belief

Is a noun: A word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance, or quality.

Believe

Is a verb: A word or phrase that describes an action, condition, or experience.

Belief vs. believe: the definitions
Belief
  • The feeling of being certain that something exists or is true.
  • A religious faith.
Believe
  • Verb (used without object)
    • To have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so.
  • Verb (used with object)
    • To have confidence or faith in the truth (a positive assertion, story).
    • To have confidence in the claims of (a person).
    • To have an opinion that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action.
Belief vs. believe: the synonyms
Belief

Could also mean (synonyms): Acceptance, confidence, conviction, faith, hope, opinion, theory, understanding, feeling.

Believe

The synonyms for this word include: Think, accept, admit, consider, hold, trust, conclude, suppose, understand.

Belief vs. believe: in a sentence
Belief
  • All religious and political beliefs should be respected equally.
  • It is my firm belief that by next year, Angelina will produce an award-winning movie.
  • It is a popular belief that all her furniture are antiques.
  • I admire her so much because she has the courage to stand up for her beliefs.
  • There is a growing belief that I will not get my promotion this year.
Believe
  • We believe she moved overseas to be closer to her family.
  • Please believe me as I have no reason to lie to you.
  • Grace believes that she can win the writing competition.
  • Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t believe that Mr. Smith is capable of killing his wife.
  • I believe that she will do the right thing to protect her children.

Reference: Cambridge Dictionary