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I was doing a grammar Multiple Choice Question in a top school examination paper and I came across a question:

Mr. Mohan is __________ the belief that artificial intelligence changes the way we work, so he encourages his children to keep up with the technological advancements.

With the following options for the missing word:

  1. in

  2. of

  3. with

  4. under

I chose (4). [The answer key said it was (3) and I didn't believe it.]

Which is the correct answer?

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  • 3
    I would use is of the belief that, certainly not with. We can also say He did this in the belief that [something was true]. Sep 5, 2023 at 13:55
  • Are you sure the question didn't ask for the one answer that could not fit? That would be #3, with. All others are usable. Sep 5, 2023 at 14:35
  • @Graffito - But your Ngram is for [blank] the belief that, not is [blank] the belief that , which is a slightly different idiom. Sep 5, 2023 at 14:49
  • @YosefBaskin I'm pretty sure. I've been doing MCQs for the past six years in Primary School. Sep 6, 2023 at 2:28
  • @KateBunting:: Indeed, ngram then supports the use of "of".
    – Graffito
    Sep 6, 2023 at 8:44

1 Answer 1

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A COCA search for BE PREP the belief gives the following results for each preposition:

  1. in: False positives

  2. of: Overwhelmingly preferred (~66 results)

  3. with: False positive (one result for "impressed…with")

  4. under: Some matches, but not as many (~14 results). I think that this may be coming from people drawing parallels with "BE under the impression…" which I personally find a lot more idiomatic than "BE under the belief…"

I see no justification for #3, not in American English at least.

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  • Alright... so if it were you, what answer would you put then? Sep 5, 2023 at 14:22
  • @YunQi_Crystal "of"
    – Laurel
    Sep 5, 2023 at 14:23
  • Got it, thank you :) Sep 5, 2023 at 14:24

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