'believe', 'guess' meaning that closer in meaning to the word 'think'.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Yalta, Jan 26, 2018.

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  1. hello everyone,
    Reading books I often get to see such words as 'believe' and 'guess' in the plain meaning of the word 'think'.

    Are there such shadows of meaning for the words I mentiooned above?

  2. velisarius

    velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    There might be, but you have given us no context.

    I'd say that these alternative words are often used simply to avoid repetition.
  3. as a variant :
    one more:
    Another one (here, at all closer to the word 'consider'):

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2018
  4. Keith Bradford

    Keith Bradford Senior Member

    Brittany, NW France
    English (Midlands UK)
    Like so many English words, these have meanings that overlap. Think of them like Venn diagrams (Venn diagram - Wikipedia)...


    not like pigeonholes...


    I can't draw Venn diagrams here, so I'll have to be satisfied with near-synonyms.

    Believe: trust, have faith, hold an opinion without hard facts.
    Guess: come to a conclusion at random, hold an opinion without hard facts and without much caring.
    Think: come to an opinion rationally, hold an opinion without total certainty.
    Know: be certain, hold an opinion with total certainty.
    Suppose: come to an opinion with partial facts but not total certainty.

    So you can see that guess, believe and suppose may be used, in casual speech, as synonyms for think. They're not likely to be used as synonyms for know.
  5. this is comrehensive answer.:thumbsup:
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
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