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Grammar 101: Belief vs. Believe

by IELTS

There are many words in the English language that look or sound alike but mean very different things. It may be difficult to tell which is the correct one in a given context, so it’s not surprising that many misuse these words without realising it.

We have compiled some “confusing” words to enlighten you in our Grammar 101 series – which will examine commonly confusing words and define them for you!

This month we will look at “belief” and “believe” that are often confused.

Grammar 101_ helping you differentiate between Belief vs. Believe

BELIEFBELIEVE
IT IS A NOUN

A word that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance, or quality.
IT IS A VERB

A word or phrase that describes an action, condition, or experience.
DEFINITION

(a) The feeling of being certain that something exists or is true.

(b) A religious faith.
DEFINITION

Verb (used without object)
(a) 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)
(a) To have confidence or faith in the truth (a positive assertion, story).
(b) To have confidence in the claims of (a person).
(c) To have an opinion that (a person or thing) is, has been, or will be engaged in a given action.
SYNONYMS

Acceptance, confidence, conviction, faith, hope, opinion, theory, understanding, feeling.
SYNONYMS

Think, accept, admit, consider, hold, trust, conclude, suppose, understand.
IN A SENTENCE

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.
IN A SENTENCE

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.

Source: Cambridge Dictionary

Now that you understand the words and know how to use it in a sentence, take our 10-question quiz to test your knowledge.

Scroll down for answers

Quiz:

1. She has a strong _____ that all her students will pass the test.

2. Do you _____ the story he just told you?

3. Some people in my village hold the _____ that the water from the well nearby has healing properties.

4. My mother’s _____ in me helped me succeed in life.

5. Contrary to popular _____, the country’s economy has actually worsened in recent months.

6. I _____ that my brother will be the first to arrive.

7. You _____ everything you are told.

8. I don’t _____ that you have not heard of him before.

9. Would you _____ it if I told you that I am extremely rich?

10. It is my _____ that putting sports and music back into schools will help students perform better.

 

 

 

 

Answer: (1) belief; (2) believe; (3) belief; (4) belief; (5) belief; (6) believe; (7) believe; (8) believe; (9) believe; (10) belief

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