What's the difference between trust and believe? In a sentence such as

Don't ... a man who keeps flattering you.

should I fill in trust or believe?

  • 2
    Either word fits, but the meaning is different. After looking both words up in the dictionary what questions do you have about the difference between these words?
    – Jim
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:39
  • But the right answer is "trust" in the examing paper.I just want to know why?
    – Diansonn
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:48
  • 4
    The exam paper has arbitrarily picked an answer. Unless they have provided context to push it one way, there is absolutely nothing wrong with believe. In fact I'd probably choose it over trust because when they keep flattering you it's likely that they are saying things they think you want to hear instead of truths. So I would first not believe them and then because I don't believe them I would not trust them. But trust here is a secondary decision deriving from the disbelief.
    – Jim
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:53
  • I suppose though, as far as advice goes, advice is meant to help you, and clearly establishing trust is more helpful than simply establishing truth.
    – Jim
    Sep 3, 2013 at 1:56
  • @Jim: I believe you have missed an inference. To simply not believe flattery is to disbelieve the flattering statements. The sentence given, as I see it, intends a stronger statement of not believing anything said by a flatterer, and thus not trusting them. From that analysis I believe trust is clearly the correct answer . Sep 3, 2013 at 4:49

4 Answers 4


Trust is a feeling or a general sense. It has to do with the way you perceive another person or source of information. If you trust someone you tend to believe that what they say is true. If you trust a certain website that means you think most if not all of the stories posted there are correct.

Believe has to do with individual facts, and its is on a case by case basis. Someone might say I believe that Syria used chemical weapons, but I don't believe the president knew about it.

  • I agree with this answer, in OP's context, with the proviso that 'belief' can also be a feeling (though not as strong an affiliation to the target as 'trust' is). Ardent religious beliefs for instance. Sep 10, 2015 at 15:56

BELIEVE : If someone gives you an information and find out that the information is true, then you will believe.

TRUST : If someone gives you an information and you accept it without finding out, it's means you trust the person

  • 2
    Not entirely true. Many people believe received information without finding out that it is true. Belief means that they accept it to be true.
    – Chenmunka
    Sep 10, 2015 at 15:23

Trust presupposes Truth and precedes Belief!

Belief is to accept something as being TRUE...

  • 2
    Though this answer may be entirely correct, it is currently unsupported by any cited authority and reads as if it were simply one person's opinion. At English Language & Usage we try to provide stronger evidence than that in support of our answers, if we have it. Please consider adding authoritative corroboration to your answer.
    – Sven Yargs
    Nov 13, 2015 at 4:25

If you use believe it should be never believe 'in' a man, while trust does not need in after the word in this context.

Although both can be used interchangeably, in this context it would be trust.

  • Welcome to EL&U. Your posts will be easier for others to read and understand if you use the mark down appropriately.
    – user63230
    Apr 24, 2014 at 4:12
  • 1
    -1. You can believe a person just as much as you can believe in a person. They mean two completely different things. Sep 10, 2015 at 15:17

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