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Trust or Believe?

Ask a Teacher
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Trust or Believe?
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This week we answer a question from Reza in Bangladesh. Reza writes:


“Trust me” or “believe me?”
When I try to make my friend understand I am right with what I say, which one should I use of these two phrases?


Dear Reza,

Thank you for your question.

You can use either word to try to persuade your friend. But whether or not your friend accepts what you say likely depends on how long you have known each other. Trust usually comes with time.

Let’s look at an example.

You tell your friend, “Believe me, I know how to pick the best-winning football team.”

Here, you are using “believe me” to add force to your point. But in order to really convince your friend, you will likely have to show a few examples of how you have been right in the past. Until you prove it, he might not trust that you know what you are talking about.

Here is another example:

Your friend sells bicycles for a living. You know she is an expert on the subject. Her experience means you trust her opinion when she takes you to buy a bicycle.

“Reza,” she says, “trust me, this is a really good bike for the price. If I were you, I would buy it.”

She is also using “trust me” to add force to her point. But here, she is suggesting that you do not need to verify, or check, to see if what she says is true. She has already earned your trust.

So your response may be:

“I trust you! If you think this bike is a good deal, then I am ready to buy it. I want it in red!”

We hope you trust us to answer your questions in Ask a Teacher!

I’m Anne Ball.

Anne Ball wrote this story for Learning English. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Do you have a question for the teacher? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section.


Words in This Story

phrase – n. a brief expression​

convince – v. to cause (someone) to believe that something is true