Learn English Vocabulary – Believe vs. Believe In

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When I was a kid, I asked my mom about love. I wanted to know how you know when you are in love with someone. She replied, “you just know.” That was pretty powerful advice for a ten-year old. Of course I believed her then, and I still believe her advice. Although she told me once that ghosts don’t exist. I’ve never seen a ghost, but I do believe in them. I’ve got a friend that also believes in ghosts, because she said that she’s seen them. I guess I believe her too!

For today’s English lesson, I want to show you the difference between believe and believe in. Have a look at the paragraph above once more, and then take a look at the lesson.

Believe means to accept that something or someone’s words are true. You can believe a person, or something that a person said:

  • I believe her. She is always honest.
  • Do you believe her story? It sounds fishy to me.

Believe in is a little different. Believe in means to have faith that something exists. You believe in something because you have faith that it exists, even though you may never have seen or experienced it:

  • Do you believe in ghosts?
  • Many people in the world believe in God.

Keep in mind the best way to remember this or any vocabulary in English is to take the word or phrase write it in a sentence that’s true for you or true in your world and then memorize your sentences.

You can even take your sentences and write them in the comments below. I would love to see your examples. And if you really want help with vocabulary, sign up for my free vocabulary workshop (see below).

If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!


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