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French question. What is the difference between "penser" and "croire"? Are they interchangeable? 
Sep 23, 2016 12:21 AM
Comments · 3

Hi Lindsey, penser means to think and croire means to believe. For the most part, they're pretty much interchangeable. (As much as they are in English.) Though, I would say penser is a little easier to use, since it's a regular verb, while croire can get pretty weird.

Hope that helps!

September 23, 2016


Being pedantic, there is a difference between think (penser) and believe (croire). I can think lots of things (six impossible things before breakfast), but do I believe them? A belief in my view is a more entrenched and permanent thought, so a pedant would take care which to use.

However, as Shelby says, in spoken English and French they are effectively interchangeable.

September 23, 2016

Bonjour Lindsey

Effectivement ces deux verbes sont interchangeables.

Mais attention ; à la forme négative et à la forme interrogative, ils expriment le doute ; ils sont donc suivis du subjonctif.

Ex :

Je pense/crois  que tu as (ind.)compris.

Je ne pense pas que tu aies (sub.) compris. Je ne crois pas qu'il ait (sub.) compris.

Croyez-vous qu'elles aient (sub.) compris?

September 26, 2016
Language Skills
English, French
Learning Language