French lesson: Penser que/Croire que = To think that/To believe that in French (2023)

French lesson: Penser que/Croire que = To think that/To believe that in French (1)

(Video) Croire (to believe) — Past, Present & Future (French verbs conjugated by Learn French With Alexa)

Written by Qualified French Expert Aurélie Drouard , HKH, Licence d'anglais LLCE

Last updated: 2023-01-12

Learn how to use "penser que" and "croire que" in French

Look at these sentences:

Vous pensez qu'elle chante bien.You think (that) she sings well.

Elle croit que les anges existent.She believes (that) angels exist.

Nous pensons que c'est une bonne idée.We think it's a good idea.

Ils croient que tu caches quelque chose.They believe you're hiding something.

(Video) French lesson: penser / penser de or à


When using verbs of opinions such as penser(to think) and croire(to believe) to say 'I believe that / I think that' in French, you always need to put que('that') after them, whereas in English you can sometimes omit it.

For example: In French, you can NEVER say ''Vous pensez elle chante bien.''or''Elle croit les anges existent.''

See also the more advanced Expressing "to find" and opinions with the verb "trouver" in French and"Penser/trouver/savoir/croire/prétendre que" are followed with indicative (L'Indicatif) in affirmative sentences BUT with subjunctive (Le Subjonctif) in negative ones

(Video) Croire que - French Subjunctive Mini-Lesson

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(Video) Penser (to think) — Present Tense (French verbs conjugated by Learn French With Alexa)

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Examples and resources

Je pense que tu es gentil.I think you're kind.

Nous pensons que c'est une bonne idée.We think it's a good idea.

Je croisque mon ami a raison.I believe my friend is right.

Ils croient que tu caches quelque chose.They believe you're hiding something.

(Video) Penser (to think) — Past Tense (French verbs conjugated by Learn French With Alexa)

Vous pensez qu'elle chante bien.You think (that) she sings well.

Elle croit que les anges existent.She believes (that) angels exist.


What is the difference between penser and Croire in French? ›

pense que versus croire que

Both penser que and croire que are translated to "think that", although I think only croire que is ever translated to "believe that".

What is an example of croire in French sentences? ›

Croire en = to believe in (have faith)

Je crois en karma. I believe in karma (righting wrongs). Elle croit en son papa. She believes in her father (that he will show up).

What is the conjugation of penser in French? ›

The Basic Conjugations of Penser
2 more rows
Jan 30, 2019

How do you use Croire in French? ›

'Croire' Meanings and Uses

The primary meaning of croire is “to believe.” It's often followed by que, as in: Je crois qu'il viendra. = I believe he will come. Croire is not used with the subjunctive in the affirmative form, even if it's followed by que.

What is the difference between je crois and je pense? ›

In the first pair, my data suggest that je crois tends to be used when the speaker has knowledge of the state of affairs at hand, while je pense indicates an assumption from the speaker.

What is the 4 types of phrases in French? ›

There are four types of sentences: statements, questions, exclamations, and commands.
Exclamation ("Phrase Exclamative")
  • Je veux y aller ! ("I want to go!")
  • J'espère que oui ! ("I hope so!")
  • Il est très beau ! ("He's very handsome!")
  • C'est une bonne idée ! ("That's a great idea!")
Jun 16, 2019

What is the easiest sentence to say in French? ›

Let's dig in!
  1. Bonjour. = Good morning. ...
  2. Bonne après-midi. = Good afternoon. ...
  3. Je m'appelle Mondly. = My name is Mondly. ...
  4. Je suis ravi de vous rencontrer. = I'm pleased to meet you. ...
  5. Comment ça va ? = How are you? ...
  6. Bien, merci. Et vous-même ? ...
  7. J'aimerais une bière. = I'd like a beer. ...
  8. Je suis désolé. = I'm sorry.

What is the meaning of Croire? ›

verb. to have religious faith; to believe in a greater truth.

What type of verb is Croire? ›

Croire is an irregular -re verb. Elle n'y croit pas. – She doesn't believe in them.

What are the 3 steps to conjugate a verb in French? ›

French verbs are conventionally divided into three conjugations (conjugaisons) with the following grouping:
  • 1st group: verbs ending in -er (except aller, envoyer, and renvoyer).
  • 2nd group: verbs ending in -ir, with the gerund ending in -issant.
  • 3rd group: verbs ending in -re (with the exception of irregular verbs).

How do you use penser in French? ›

In front of a noun, penser à means "to think about" as in "to consider, have on one's mind": Je pense à mes enfants. I'm thinking about my children.

What is the meaning of penser? ›

penser judge or regard; look upon; judge.

Can I say peux je? ›

Je peux becomes Puis-je (Can I?) in questions where the subject and verb are inverted (we can't write or say Peux-je). This form of the verb comes from an older style of conjugating the verb pouvoir.

What is the past tense of croire in French? ›

The passé composé of Croire is formed by combining the auxiliary verb avoir with the past participle cru.

How do you conjugate Croire verbs in French? ›

The verb croire has its own conjugation pattern.
  1. je crois.
  2. tu crois.
  3. il/elle croit.
  4. nous croyons.
  5. vous croyez.
  6. ils/elles croient.

Do you believe in God French? ›

Do you believe in God? French Translation: Crois-tu en Dieu ?

What is the meaning of Je pense, donc je suis? ›

The French philosopher, Rene Descartes is famous for the proposition, “Je pense, donc je suis”. In Latin, it is translated as “Cogito ergo sum”. And in English, we know this popular phrase as “I think, therefore I am”. This statement serves as the foundation for knowledge in the face of radical doubt.

How do you use je pense que? ›

Je pense que [“ce” + être] par là.
  1. Il faut que j'y aille. ...
  2. Elle veut que tu changes de chemise. ...
  3. Je pense que c'est par là. ...
  4. Je ne pense pas que ce soit par là.
Mar 2, 2021

What is the most popular French phrase? ›

And you no doubt already know at least some of them.
  • #1 Bonjour ! – Hello! ( the standard greeting in French) ...
  • #2 Bonsoir ! – Good evening! ( replaces bonjour in the evening) ...
  • #3 Salut ! – Hi! ( a more informal greeting) ...
  • #4 Enchanté(e) ! – Nice to meet you! ( a standard expression when meeting someone for the first time)

What is a common French saying? ›

Mangez bien, riez souvent, aimez beaucoup.

Literal translation: “Eat well, laugh often, love a lot.” Actual meaning: “Live life to the fullest” or carpe diem (“seize the day”). Use this positive French saying to console a friend that is having a hard time.

How do you memorize French phrases? ›

10 Ways to Memorize French Vocabulary Fast
  1. Get to the Roots. Memorize words that share the same root at the same time. ...
  2. Know Your Cognates. ...
  3. Practice With Your Textbook. ...
  4. Three Is a Magic Number. ...
  5. Listen and Repeat. ...
  6. Use It in a Sentence. ...
  7. Make Associations. ...
  8. Word of the Day.
Sep 22, 2021

What is the hardest French word to say? ›


Brace yourself: The hardest French word to pronounce is the word for locksmith – “serrurerie“. It was the most commonly repeated response.

What are 3 greetings in French? ›

The most important French greetings include bonjour (hello), enchanté(e) (nice to meet you), bonsoir (good evening/hello), salut (hi), coucou (hey), Ça fait longtemps, dis donc (long time no see), Âllo (hello), Ça va? (how are you?), tu vas bien? (have you been well?), quoi de neuf? (what's up?), au revoir!

What is the hardest word to learn in French? ›

The 15 Hardest French Words (with Audio)
  • Vadrouiller.
  • Grenouille.
  • Bouilloire.
  • Pneu.
  • L'eau.
  • Oignon.
  • Inébranlablement.
  • Final Thoughts on Difficult French Words.

What does croire en soi mean in English? ›

croire en soi [v] believe in yourself.

What is the meaning of Crois en toi? ›

Translation of "crois en toi" in English. believe in you believe in yourself believe You faith in you.

Does Croire take a preposition? ›

verbs followed by no preposition: aimer, aimer mieux, aller, croire, désirer, devoir, faire, espérer, laisser.

Is Croire a subjunctive trigger? ›

Croire only uses the subjunctive when used in a negative sense, as in: "Je ne crois pas qu'il vienne." -- I don't believe that he comes. Otherwise you use the indiciative mood: "Je crois qu'il vient." or "Tu crois qu'il vient?" In your example, therefore, you would use the indicative.

What kind of verb is comprendre? ›

Comprendre is a French irregular verb meaning to understand.

What is the opposite of venir? ›

Generally speaking, venir is equivalent to "to come" (the opposite of aller – "to go"): Par exemple…

What are the 7 tenses in French? ›

French Indicative Verb Tenses
  • Présent (present) ...
  • Imparfait (imperfect) ...
  • Passé simple (simple past) ...
  • Passé composé (past perfect) ...
  • Futur simple (future simple) ...
  • Plus-que-parfait (pluperfect) ...
  • Passé antérieur (past anterior)
  • Futur antérieur (future anterior)
Sep 18, 2020

How hard is French to learn? ›

The FSI scale ranks French as a “category I language”, considered “more similar to English” compared to categories III and IV “hard” or “super-hard languages”. According to the FSI, French is one of the easiest languages to learn for a native English speaker.

What is the difference between penser and réfléchir? ›

Réfléchir translates to “think over”, “ponder” or “mull”. Another translation is to “reflect”. Penser, however, is to think on a much more superficial level. Usually penser applies to thinking of something in a yes/no manor.

Do you use Subjonctif with penser? ›

Does penser require the subjunctive? Penser may require the subjunctive, depending on whether it is used affirmatively, negatively, or interrogatively: Par exemple… Je pense qu'il veut aller avec nous.

What do you think in French? ›

'What do you think' is translated as Qu'est-ce que tu penses and Qu'est-ce que vous pensez?

What does penser mean in French etymology? ›

Etymology. From French penser (“to think”), compare Haitian Creole panse.

Is Je voudrais rude? ›

Je voudrais is preferable in social contexts such as in a restaurant, as it is more polite and subtle than the blunt je veux (just like in English). [Note that j'aimerais (I would like) is also very commonly used in more polite contexts.]

Can I go to the bathroom in France? ›

If you are visiting France and need to use the restroom, the easiest thing to do is to step in a coffee shop. Just ask: “est-ce que je peux utiliser vos toilettes s'il vous plaît” (may I use your restroom) with a smile, and it should be no problem.

Is Je vais correct? ›

You should be saying 'J'y vais' or 'Je m'en vais' In English, you can say "I'm going," and everyone will understand that you're either leaving your current location or are on your way to a new destination that was previously mentioned. In French, however, simply saying Je vais (I'm going) is incomplete.

What are the two main past tenses in French? ›

Tenses of the Subjonctif

Three past forms, which are the imparfait (imperfect), passé (past) and plus-que-parfait (pluperfect).

What are the rules of past tense in French? ›

For regular -er verbs (like manger), drop the final -er from the infinitive form of the verb and replace with é. (Example: manger becomes mangé, nager becomes nagé, jouer becomes joué.) For regular -ir verbs (like choisir), drop the final -ir from the infinitive form of the verb and replace with i.

What is the most used past tense in French? ›

[Indicatif] Passé Composé (Compound Past)

Le passé composé is the most common past tense in French. It's the equivalent of the English simple past and it's used to talk about a past event with a limited duration, that is now over.

What are examples of conjugated verbs in French? ›

Here are the present tense conjugations:
  • Je vais.
  • Tu vas.
  • Il va / Elle va / On va.
  • Nous allons.
  • Vous allez.
  • Ils vont / Elles vont.
Jan 30, 2023

How many conjugation tenses are there in French? ›

The 21 French Verb Tenses
TenseTimeIn Action
L'infinitif présentPresentlaver
L'infinitif passéPastAvoir lavé
Le participe présentPresentLavant
Le participe passéPastLavé
18 more rows

What are some conjugated verbs in French? ›

To set you up, here are the 20 most common French verbs conjugations, examples of their use in everyday life, and grammar tips.
  • Être (to be)
  • Avoir (to have)
  • Aller (to go)
  • Parler (to speak/talk)
  • Faire (to do)
  • Prendre (to take)
  • Vouloir (to want)
  • Savoir (to know)
Sep 12, 2022

What does penser in French mean? ›

Penser = to think

Penser is used just like "to think." Par exemple… Je pense, donc je suis. I think, therefore I am.

What is the past tense of Croire in French? ›

The passé composé of Croire is formed by combining the auxiliary verb avoir with the past participle cru.

What does the French word actually mean? ›

1. vraiment (really) Did it actually happen? Est-ce que c'est vraiment arrivé ? 2.

Is penser regular or irregular? ›

Penser is a French regular er verb meaning to think.

How do you tell the difference between tenses in French? ›

There are 8 different verb tenses in the indicative mood: présent (present), imparfait (imperfect), passé simple (simple past), futur simple (simple future), passé composé (perfect), plus-que-parfait (pluperfect), passé antérieur (past anterior), and futur antérieur (future anterior).

What language is rêve? ›

rêve | translation French to English: Cambridge Dictionary.


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