In this episode from Perfect English with Danny, you will learn how to identify and fix the common mistakes with the verb believe, and you will learn about the common words we use with Believe.
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Perfect English with Danny Episode 85 – Common Mistakes – Believe
Welcome to a new episode from perfect English with Danny. In this episode we’re going to talk about common mistakes. And to be specific, we will be talking about common mistakes with a verb believe, I believe is one of the most common verbs we use in English, but also it has some of the most common mistakes people make when they use this verb. Now before we start, let me remind you that I left you a link in the description of this episode to my Patreon page. If you like this podcast, please support me on Patreon that will help the podcast go on and that will help me make it even better. And now for our word believe. Let me start with a common mistake people make when they use the verb believe. Let’s take a look at the sentence. You should not believe in everything you hear. And let’s take a look at another similar example. She couldn’t believe in What was happening to her? So what do you think the problem is? in those two sentences? We said you should not believe in everything you hear, and she could not believe in what was happening to her. Now, the whole idea is about the preposition in whether we want to use it with belief, or we don’t. Now actually both are correct, but they have different meanings. Now when you say believe in something, that means you accept that something exists. For example, when you say, Do you believe in ghosts? Do you accept that ghosts exist believe in or we can say James still believes in Father Christmas or Santa Claus. James still believes or still accept the fact that Father Christmas exists. That is the meaning of belief in believing something can have another meaning as well. It can mean to think that something is good For example, you can say I don’t believe in capital punishment. And when you say I don’t believe in capital punishment, you say that I don’t think this is good. I don’t think capital punishment is good. We can say for example, I believe in getting a good night’s sleep before an examination, I think it is a good thing. I think this thing is good. I believe in it. You can use believe in to express your belief in people, you can say I believe in you, I have faith in you, I know that you are going to do it, whatever that thing might be. I know you can do this. I believe in you or I believe in her, I believe in Him, etc. So that was believed in. So if we go back to the sentences we started with, we said you should not believe in everything you hear, well, believing everything you hear, does that mean accept that something exists? The meaning does not have to do with accepting that something exists or thinking that something is good in the sentence. What we want to mean here or what we mean to say is to say that to accept that something is true or real, and that is different. When your meaning is to accept that something is true or real. You don’t use in you just say believe something. For example, we say I believe every word she said, I believe her, I believe every word she said, I accept that this is true or real. Or we can say I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I could not accept that something like that is true or real. And we say that when we see something shocking or unbelievable, etc. So when we go back to our sentences, that is the meaning we want to use here. In the first sentence. You should not believe in everything you hear what we want to say you should not accept everything. You hear as true or real, so we shouldn’t use believe in we should simply use believe we should say, you should not believe everything you hear not you should not believe in. And in the second example, it’s the same thing we said she couldn’t believe in what was happening to her. Now the idea is we’re just trying to say she couldn’t accept it was true or it was real. So we don’t need in this case, we should say she couldn’t believe what was happening to her without in and now there is another common expression and people also use in in this expression in a wrong way. For example,
I could hardly believe in my eyes. Well, if you say I could hardly believe in my eyes. Of course, you don’t mean that this is to accept that your eyes exist or you think that your eyes are good, etc. What do you mean to say that you saw something and you can’t believe it’s true? You can’t believe what you’re seeing. But anyway, this is a common expression. People say I could not or I hardly believe my eyes, my ears without in when you hear something that’s shocking or you just don’t want to believe it actually because it is too disturbing. You can’t believe something like that is happening to you or it’s happening to anybody. You can say, I could hardly believe my ears. Or if you see it, I could hardly believe my eyes. How is that possible? or How could you do that? This is a common expression. And again, without in remember, we don’t say I could hardly believe in my eyes, we should say I could hardly believe my eyes. And now we will move to a different kind of mistake people make with the word belief. Now we’ll take a look at two examples and the mistake is the same. Now try to identify the mistake before I say it. Now the first example I deeply believe that tourists will stop Coming here, in the second example, my brother deeply believes in freedom of speech. Well, if you think the problem is within Well, I have to say that this time it is not when you said the first example, I deeply believe that tourists will stop coming here. Believe in this example comes in the meaning of think, which is okay, we don’t say things in we have to say think without in or believe without, in in this case. And in the second example, my brother deeply believes in freedom of speech, that’s also possible because the meaning here is that he thinks freedom of speech is good. So the problem is not in the use of end. So where is the problem? Do you think now if you thought about the word deeply, or the adverb deeply, and you think that the mistake is there, congratulations, because that is exactly where the mistake is. Now, I would love to say that there’s a logical explanation behind why we can’t use deeply We have to use some other word or some other adverb. But the problem here is not about logic. The problem is about collocations and collocations are words that go together. No, sometimes logically, we think that Yeah, we can use deeply Why not? Especially if you translate this word into your own language and it makes sense. But remember that every language has its own traditions. And traditionally, they use this adverb with this noun they use this noun with this verb. Most of the time, there is no logical reason behind using this specific adverb with this specific adjective or this adjective with this noun, it is just tradition, and they call it in English collocations words that go together. In this case, unfortunately, deeply is not the adverb that collocates with believe we can use firmly, we can use strongly, fervently sincerely, truly, but not deeply. So I will Say again, we can use firmly believe strongly believe, fervently believe, sincerely believe, or truly believe, but not deeply believe, can say for example, I sincerely believe that he had no connection with a crime. And that is to emphasize the fact that your belief in this thing is strong. you sincerely believe you strongly believe you firmly believe, but not deeply. So in the first example, we can say I firmly believe that tourists will stop coming here I have a strong belief in that we don’t say I deeply believe. In the second example, we can say my brother strongly believes in freedom of speech, instead of saying he deeply believes in freedom of speech. And since we mentioned collocations, I would like to talk a little bit more about other words we can use with belief. Now we talked about the adverbs we use with believe how about the verbs we use with both Believe now we can use can or cannot, could not with believe, for example, we say I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. We use this modal verb a lot with belief we can use be hard to with belief. And we can say, for example, it’s hard to believe that this campaign has been going on for 10 years. It’s hard to believe. And here, you might say, yeah, we know it’s hard to believe. Yeah, of course you do. But the idea is, we say it’s hard to believe not it’s difficult to believe. If
you say it is difficult to believe, of course, everybody will understand what you mean. But it sounds a little bit unnatural, because usually people use the word hard instead of difficult when you want to talk about belief. It’s hard to believe not it’s difficult to believe. So here I want you to appreciate the importance of learning collocations because that’s what collocations do that helps you sound more natural in English. What other verbs Can we use with belief we can say give somebody to believe. For example, we say the boss gave me to believe that we would all get a pay rise. It kind of made me believe, oh, we can use have reason to believe we can say we have reason to believe that the escaped prisoner may be hiding in this house. We have reason here again, what can we say about that? Well, we have reason to believe that’s obvious. Yes, it is obvious. But remember, we don’t say we have a reason to believe we have reason to believe it’s uncountable. In this case, we don’t say we have cause to believe that sounds unnatural. We say we have reason to believe. So what else we can say to be inclined to believe I’m inclined to believe you. We can say lead somebody to believe we can say for example, the advertisement led us to believe that all prices had been cut. And finally, we have a couple of phrases we can use with belief. We can say can could have Hardly are scarcely believe something or we can say not believe a word of something. For example, I didn’t believe a word of what he said. So again, we can say I don’t believe a sentence of what he said, I don’t believe a letter. It might sound natural in your language because in some languages, they may use the word letter instead, I don’t believe a letter of what he said. If you translate that literally in your language, it might make sense, but in English, it doesn’t. In English. If you want to use an expression like this, you need to use the word word. I don’t believe a word of what he said. And so that was all about believe common mistakes and some usage notes to help you use the word believe a lot better and more accurately in your conversations to come. Thank you very much for listening to this episode from perfect English with Danny Don’t forget to take the link to my Patreon page and support this podcast to keep us going Going and to help me make this podcast even better. This is Danny your host saying thank you very much and I will see you in the next episode.