Difference between Belief and Believe with Examples

Difference between Belief and Believe with Examples

There will always be confusion in many people’s mind as far as the use of certain words in English is concerned. The reason is not far-fetched. Some words share many linguistic features. Some are homonymous, some are homographic while others homophonic. One of the pairs that many cannot identify and differentiate easily is the pair: Belief and Believe. I have, therefore, put this post, Difference between Belief and Believe with Examples together to shed light on this confusing pair of words. See also Affect vs Effect.

Difference between Belief and Believe with Examples

Many people mix up these two words. One is a Noun while the other is a Verb. Let us see the differences.


Belief is a noun. It means acceptance by the mind that something is true or real.

  • We have a firm belief in the justice system.
  • They voted for him because of the belief they had in him.
  • The boy’s belief in alien existence is amusing.
  • We hold the belief that the girl was innocent.
  • She asked me about some of my beliefs I hold sacred.

 It also means trust or confidence that somebody or something is good or will be effective. E. g.

  • Our belief in democracy is very strong.
  • The man has an unshakable belief that his child will be successful.
  • What she did, strengthened my belief in her sincerity.
  • I have long lost my belief in Western medicine.
  • The citizens express a strong belief in their team’s ability to win the tournament.

Belief also represents a statement, principle, or doctrine that a person or group accepts as true; an opinion, especially a firm one; and it also means religious faith, that is, faith in God or in a religion’s gods. E. g.

  • His belief in God is unwavering.
  • Their belief in the god of luck is surprising.
  • He lost his religious belief but not his morality.


Believe, on the other hand, is a transitive verb that which means to accept that something is true or real. For instance:

  • We do not know the version of the story to believe.

It also means the following:

Receive someone as honest and truthful. For instance:

  • He was certain someone would believe him.
  • We believed her story.

Admit that somebody or something has a particular quality or capacity

  • We never believed she was capable of such dastardly act.
  • No soccer pundit believed Leicester City could win Premier League.
  • Some races believe they are superior to other.

Think that something exists; be of the opinion that something is a reality, especially when there is no outright proof of its existence or reality. E. g.

  • Many believe in destiny while others believe in predestination.

Trust or be confident that somebody or something is worthwhile or effective. E. g.

  • My parents believed in me even when I was not educated.

Think that something is good; be of the opinion that something is right or beneficial and, usually, to act in accordance with that belief. E. g.

  • Americans believed strongly in freedom of expression.
  • Some countries do not believe in freedom of the media.

Have religious faith; a belief in God or in a religion’s gods. E. g.

  • She believes in God but does not go to church.
  • The poor believe God for miracles.
  • Africans believe in the goddess of fertility.

Difference between Belief and Believe with Examples

Having seen the definitions of both words, how then do we differentiate between them and use them correctly? The following tips will certainly help:

  1. You can only ‘do’ one of them. Verbs show action, among other things. So whenever you think of which one to ‘do’, think of Believe is what you do and what you can do! E. g.
  • I believe I can fly.
  • They believe him to a fault.
  • She believes her pastor implicitly.
  • We believe in our nation.
  • Americans believe in their presidents.

All these express actions. So you choose the one that ends in ‘–ve’ and not the one that ends in ‘–f’. Never forget this!

  1. There is one of the two words that you can ‘have’. Think of anything you have or own: a car, a house, a pet, a treasure, a wife, a husband, a child, just anything that you have or possess. All these are nouns. You cannot ‘do’ nouns, but you can have them. Now, of these two words, the one you can equate with what you can have or own is See these examples:
  • Our belief system as a nation needs overhauling.
  • They express the belief that the economy will pick up.
  • The tribe’s belief in their deities is sacrosanct.
  1. There is one that you can express in the plural form and that is Belief. You cannot pluralise Believe. You can only inflect it for the third person singular; that is:
  • He believes.
  • She believes.
  • It believes.

 Final Word

If you cannot successfully put a verb in the place of any of the words and it is grammatically correct and makes sense, then what you should use is Believe! If on the other hand, you use a noun in the stead of any of these two words and it is grammatically correct and semantically meaningful, then you are dealing with Belief! I hope this helps. Good. Check out our post on Academia vs Academic, Affect vs Effect. See also Correct Usage: Access, Assess, Accent, Ascent and Assent.



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