How do you say you believe something 80% in English?
English has several ways to express our subjective belief in an event. They include I think that or I doubt that. (For more information about expressing the objective chance of an event, such as It's likely that, see Probability in English.)
|Part of Speech||0%||10%||30%||50%||80%||90%||100%|
Usage[edit | edit source]
Under the impression[edit | edit source]
We use under the impression if someone believes something, but in reality, they were wrong.
- I was under the impression that it would rain today. (It was sunny.)
- She was under the impression that he was coming at 5 PM. (He came at 6 PM.)
Suspect[edit | edit source]
We use suspect when we believe something about 80%, but we do not have much or any evidence. Often it is used to talk about negative things.
- I suspect you are lying. (I think so but I can't prove it.)
- I suspect she is coming. (I think so but she has not called me yet.)
- So far my boss doesn't suspect anything. (My boss doesn't think I did anything, and he or she doesn't have any evidence to believe so.)
Disagreeing[edit | edit source]
We can use words indicating belief under 50% to disagree.
Doubt[edit | edit source]
We use doubt to disagree.
- Will they finish on time? - I doubt it. (They will be early or late.)
- Bill Clinton was the best president ever. - I doubt it. (I disagree.)
I don't know, I'm not sure[edit | edit source]
We can use I don't know (about it/that), I'm not sure (about it/that), or similar expressions to politely disagree. The real meaning is "I know and I don't think so," not "I don't know."
- When you eat at a restaurant in Japan, you should pay a tip. - I don't know about that. I think tips are considered insulting in Japan.
- I'm going to go swimming after eating a big meal. - I'm not sure that's a good idea. You might get sick.
- Do you think you will get the job? - I don't know about it. It was a week ago and they haven't called me back.
Ellipsis[edit | edit source]
Often "I doubt it" undergoes ellipsis and becomes "doubt it" which is a short response that means we disagree.
- Are you going back home this year? - Doubt it. (I don't think so.)
The same thing happens with "I don't know" and "I'm not sure."
- Has the meeting finished? - Dunno. Nobody is back yet.
- Is it going to rain? - Not sure. There's not a cloud in the sky.
In the extreme, "I don't know" becomes "uh-uh-uh" where each "uh" only retains the intonation of its origin in the phrase "I don't know."
Mechanics[edit | edit source]
Quiz[edit | edit source]