I'm not a native english speaker and I need to ask a question to an englishman about something that I think he's been working on.
So I plan to use a sentence like: "I believe that you're working on this..." or "I understand that you're working on this...".
Which one is correct and/or closer to the meaning of my request ?

  • You know the difference between believe and understand? – Xanne Oct 6 '20 at 8:33
  • I think I do. And I asked this question because at link they say this about understand: to believe or infer something to be the case. And also my question was more about an english expression than the meaning of the words themselves. – raoul volfoni Oct 6 '20 at 8:43

By using I "I believe that you ..." you can state some opinion about this person, which he/she can deny but you nevertheless still hold for true. For example "I believe you are unconsciously still in love with her".

By using "I understand that you .." you are merely asking if something is true or not. So the sentence "I understand you are working on this .." is more appropriate in your situation.

  • I'll use your answer. Thanks. – raoul volfoni Oct 6 '20 at 10:03
  • 'By using "I understand that you .." you are merely asking if something is true or not.' : that is not quite "merely asking if something is true". Rather that is saying that you have a good notion that something is true, but there might be something you missed. 'I believe you are…' is synonymous (as the link shows). – LPH Oct 6 '20 at 10:17

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