Spanish expressions: “Creo que…”

creo que expressions spanish 1

“Creo que” is a Spanish expression we use to talk about our thoughts or say something we think is true.

It’s the Spanish translation of “I think that…” and we use it in a similar way. It comes from conjugating the Spanish verb “creer”. Nonetheless, you must know a few things if you want to use this phrase properly.

In this explanation, we will teach you how to use “creo que” in the affirmative and negative forms. Also, you’ll learn how to know when it’s the right time to use it.

“Creo que” for affirmative sentences

Since it comes from the verb “creer”, we can conjugate it in any Spanish tense. If we want to build affirmative sentences, we have to conjugate “career” in the indicative mood.

The conjugations of “creer” in the present indicative tense are shown below:

Verb conjugation
Creer To believe/To think
Yo creo que I believe/think that
Tú crees que You believe/think that
Él/Ella/Usted cree que He/She/It/You (formal) believes/ thinks that.
Nosotros creemos que We believe/ think that
Vosotros creeís que You (plural) believe/think that
Ellos/Ellas/Ustedes creen que They/You (plural) believe that

The expression “creo que” shows you are pretty confident about what you’re saying.

We can use it when we talk about facts or when we have enough proofs to say something. Sometimes, we can use “creo que” just to express our personal opinion even though we don’t know if what we say is true.

Here are some examples:

Creo que el sol es muy grande.

I think the sun is very big.

Creo que Picasso es el mejor pintor de la historia.

I think Picasso is the best painter in history.

Basados en lo que ocurrió ayer, María cree que deberíamos tener una charla.

Based on what happened yesterday, Maria thinks we should have a talk.

In some cases, we can use the structure “creo que” + “deber” to make a suggestion or give advice.

The formula we use to do it is the one below:

“Creo que” + subject (explicit/ implicit) + “deber” + verb (infinitive) + complement.

Let’s see a few examples:

Creo que debes estudiar un poco más. Has reprobado el examen de matemáticas.

I think you should study a little more. You have failed the math test.

A pesar de que ganaste el campeonato, creo que debes seguir practicando.

Even though you won the championship, I think you should keep practicing.

Aunque te fue mal la semana pasada, creo que deberías seguir intentando.

Even though you did poorly last week, I think you should keep trying.

“Creo que” for negative sentences

Building negative sentences using “creo que” is simple. Still, we don’t conjugate the verb in the indicative mood. We do it using the subjunctive mood.

On the other side, we use the negative form of “creo que” to show that we are not confident enough about what someone says. To build a negative sentence, we just need to add “no” at the beginning of the sentence or before “creo que”.

Here are some examples:

Él no creyó que la exhibición de Sorolla haya sido tan magnifica como todos decían.

He did not believe that Sorolla’s exhibition was as magnificent as everyone said.

Ellos no creyeron que fuera necesario hacer cola para ver los murales el día de la inauguración.

They didn’t think it was necessary to queue to see the murals on opening day.

 In some situations, we can build negative sentences conjugating “creo que” in the indicative mood to show disagreement.

Let’s look at the following sentences:

No creo que solo cambiando de actitud puedas resolver el problema.

I don’t think that just changing your attitude can solve the problem.

Ella no cree que su hermano pase el examen porque no estudió lo suficiente.

She doesn’t think her brother will pass the test because he didn’t study hard enough.

When to use “creo que”

Identifying when you should use “creo que” is easy as counting one, two, three.

If you are in a middle of a colloquial conversation with friends or coworkers, using “creo que” is completely allowed. In that case, you can use it to make suggestions or just express your personal opinion about something.

During business meetings, you should use the plural form of “creo que”. After all, during work meetings, we express our ideas as a team. So, “creemos que” is the right phrase to use.

In a work meeting, “creemos que” can help you introduce an idea about a new strategy to solve any issue.

If you want to express disagreement or that what people say isn’t quite convincing, using the negative form of “creo que” is the right thing to do. Either you conjugate “creo que” in the indicative or the subjunctive mood, you’ll get the job done.

Spanish important expressions

Generally speaking, “creo que” is a very common phrase in Spanish. If you add this expression to your vocabulary, blending with native speakers will no longer be a challenge.

Don’t forget that if you use the structure “creo que” + “deber”, you should conjugate the verb after “deber” in the infinitive form.

Sometimes, learning a new language can be difficult, but “nosotros creemos que” with our help, becoming proficient is just another easy task.

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