'Beliefs' or 'Believes': What's the Difference?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on January 31, 2023

If you're unsure of the difference between 'beliefs' or 'believes,' you've come to the right place. This article will explore the meaning of each word and when to use it.

In short, 'beliefs' are things that you believe, and 'believes' is a conjugated form of the verb 'to believe.'

What's the Difference Between 'Beliefs' or 'Believes'?

'Beliefs' and 'believes' may sound similar, but they are different parts of speech. 'Beliefs' is a plural noun while 'believes' is the third person singular conjugation of the verb 'believes.'

'Beliefs' Definition

As I mentioned, 'beliefs' is the plural form of the noun' belief.' A belief is something that you accept as true. It is used particularly to refer to things we have no proof of. To have a belief means to have faith that something is real despite not knowing for sure.

Some common beliefs include religious, political, or spiritual beliefs, or in a more specific way, the belief that someone is innocent, for example.

The word 'belief' is the noun form of the verb 'believe,' so the two are connected in meaning.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Beliefs'

To understand how to pronounce the word' belief,' it can be helpful to know how it's spelled phonetically. The International Phonetics Association spells it this way:


And it sounds like this:


The first syllable sounds like the first half of the word 'biscuit,' and the second syllable sounds like the word' leaf.'

'Believes' Definition

'To believe' is the verb form of the noun 'believe,' so the same definition applies, except it shows an active intention since it's a verb.

'Believes' the third person singular form of the verb, which means you can use it with the pronouns 'he,' 'she,' 'they,' and 'it.'

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Believes'

As for how to pronounce the word 'believes,' the International Phonetics Association spells it this way:


And it sounds like this:


Again, the first syllable sounds like the first half of the word 'biscuit,' and the second syllable sounds like the word 'leaf' with a 'z' at the end.

When to Use 'Beliefs' or 'Believes'

I understand these two words have similar meanings, so I will show you examples of them used in sentences to clarify the difference.

'Beliefs' in a Sentence

Her religious beliefs are what keep her going during hard times.

Please keep your political beliefs to yourself.

Our belief is that we can effect change from the ground up.

The existence of aliens seems beyond belief to some, but not to me.

It is my belief that we will come out of this stronger.

'Believes' in a Sentence

He believes she is innocent after all.

The charity, as a whole, believes in equal access to medical treatment for all.

Are you sure she really believes me?

She believes her close rapport with the manager can get her a discount.

He believes it's meant to be.

Concluding Thoughts on 'Beliefs' or 'Believes'

That concludes this article on the difference between 'beliefs' or 'believes.' Hopefully, you feel more confident in understanding the difference between each word and can now go out in the world and use them correctly. I believe in you!

And if you'd like to learn about more confusing words, check out our blog.

We encourage you to share this article on Twitter and Facebook. Just click those two links - you'll see why.

It's important to share the news to spread the truth. Most people won't.

Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

Add new comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WritingTips.org Newsletter
Receive information on
new articles posted, important topics, and tips.
Join Now
We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.