I wonder what are the closest Korean verbs I can use to express the equivalent of the following english verbs:

think - an opinion that you are NOT sure of.

find - an opinion that you are sure of because there is circumstantial evidence; until you are proven wrong.

believe - the strongest opinion of the three words; that you are VERY sure of and still may not accept even the veracity of it.

Taken from this Italki Question (the answer specifically)

1 Answer 1


1. 생각하다 : think

ex) I think it will be expensive : 난 그게 비쌀 거라고 생각해

But when the past tense (thought) is used, 알았다(knew) can replace 생각했다.

ex) I thought it would be expensive : 난 그게 비쌀 줄 알았어/난 그게 비쌀 거라고 생각했어

2. -는 것 같다 : in between think and find

ex) I think it's interesting : 그거 재밌는 것 같아

ex) I find him attractive : 그 남자 매력 있는 것 같아

3. -던데/-은데/-더라(고) : find

Usually -던데/-은데 is used to show a little disagreement with previous statements or to ask what others feel about the statement being spoken.

ex) That movie was so boring / But I found it fun : 그 영화 너무 지루했어 / 그래도 난 재밌었는데

ex) I found him handsome / Really? He looks ugly to me : 그 남자 잘생겼던데? / 진짜? 나한텐 못생겨 보여

-더라(고) is a little more focused on expressing opinion than -던데/은데 and usually refers to past events.

ex) I was unwilling to do it, but I found it fun in the end : 마지못해 했었는데 나중에는 재밌더라고

All of -던데, -은데, -더라(고) sound a little informal. You can use them when speaking with a stranger, but you should not during an interview. And as for -던데/-은데, they have meanings other than "find" so you should check them out.

4. 보다/믿다 : believe

보다 is in somewhere between "think" and "believe", and it implies that the opinion might change or turned out false. 믿다 expresses stronger belief than 보다.

ex) I think/believe you should break up with her : 난 너가 걔랑 헤어져야 한다고 봐

ex) I believe something good will happen : 좋은 일이 일어날 거라고 믿어

If you want to use these words more naturally, you can consider the things below:

  • If you don't omit the subject ("난/나한텐" in some examples above), the sentence sounds like the opinion is peronal and other people can think differently, so it makes the sentence express the feeling less stronger.

  • You can combine 1/4 with 2/3. For example, you can say '난 그거 재밌는 것 같던데' by using both 2 and 3. And this makes the sentence less stronger, too.

  • When you state other people's opinion, you have to add '-아/어/해하다' in the sentence. For example, you have to use "걔 그거 싫어하던데", not "걔 그거 싫던데" for "He/She seems to hate it."

  • This 보다 verb is so versatile... I see it a bit everywhere Commented Mar 22 at 10:38
  • @user8469759 Indeed, but I think 보다 is quite similar to "look". In this case, it's easier to understand if you think the sentences with 보다 as "It looks to me that ...". You can use 보다 as "take a look at ..." too: for example, 내일 날씨를 보고 소풍을 갈지 결정하자 (Let's take a look at the weather tmr and then decide whether we go on a picnic)
    – kospie
    Commented Mar 23 at 13:15

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