1. I believe you.
  2. I believe in you.

Can 1 and 2 both be used to mean

  1. I believe that what you said is true.

I have seen 1 used to mean 3, but is that usage idiomatic. Also, I know that 2 sometimes is used to mean to trust someone because you think that they can do something well or that they are a good person, But can't it also be used to mean 3?

  • 1
    No, believe in cannot (idiomatically) be used to mean "I take it on faith that what you just said is true". For that, use "I believe you". "Believe in you" is used only for the purpose you link to in your final para. – Dan Bron Dec 22 '18 at 23:39
  • 1
    "I believe what you said" is not the same thing as "I believe in what you said." So it's not clear what your question is. – michael.hor257k Dec 22 '18 at 23:40

The difference is between an abstraction and something specific.

An example of an abstraction of ideas: I believe in God. I believe in Science. I believe in the truth. (But what is truth, but an abstraction of subjective values).

An example of specifics: I believe you. I believe the video recording implicates Mr. Doe. I believe my business plan may have flaws.

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