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There are two sentences.

  1. I think it no use giving him money.
  2. I think it worth watching the movie.

Do the sentences above make sense?
I made these sentences myself.

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    You could say "I consider it a waste of time". But as mike says in his answer, with think we say "I think it is a waste of time" in contemporary English. Yet you can say "I think it unwise to give him money." Jan 23, 2017 at 13:49
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    think it unwise vs think it is unwise: books.google.com/ngrams/… Jan 23, 2017 at 13:58
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    I would argue that the first is correct (just idiomatic) but not the second. The first can be rearranged to "I think it (giving him money) no use", with "no use" easily standing in for "unwise". Whereas in the second, "I think it (watching the movie) worth" makes no sense, and "I think it (the movie) worth watching" is not an accurate transformation of the original sentence. Jan 23, 2017 at 18:11
  • Yeah, I actually think these are technically correct, but they'd be interpreted as archaic at best, incorrect at worst. It's be better to include the "is" in some way, as mike mentions below.
    – Tin Wizard
    Jan 23, 2017 at 19:00
  • The best answer is by Mike - add in "it's" However "I think it no use to give him money" is also technically correct, but sounds very old fashioned/posh
    – Esco
    Jan 23, 2017 at 23:34

4 Answers 4

24

Both sentences are correct as they stand - however, it would be more natural to include an 'is' (or more naturally when speaking, the contracted form 's), in the sentence. For example:

  • I think it's no use giving him money.
  • I think it's worth watching the movie.

With the second sentence (for me at least) it feels more natural to say:

  • I think the movie is worth watching.
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    they're both correct without the "is", as well. they're just a bit outdated and stuffy sounding.
    – user428517
    Jan 23, 2017 at 19:34
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    @sgroves - I stand corrected - I didn't think about it from that perspective. If you have no objections, I'll update my answer with that information.
    – mike
    Jan 24, 2017 at 2:21
  • In the formal register that those sentences seem to aim for, "I think it no use to give him the money" would be the idiomatic phrasing for the first statement. The second doesn't scan well either; either "I think it worthwhile to watch the movie," or "I think it of great worth to watch the movie" would conform to the original structure and a high register while being much more natural.
    – david
    Jan 24, 2017 at 15:07
10

Both are grammatical, but rather literary: not many people would say them in ordinary speech today.

The basic structure is

X thinks Y [to be] Z

('to be' is optional) where Z is a description. "Think" here has the meaning of "judge" or "evaluate".

Your examples are related:

X thinks it Z

where Z is a more complicated description, which involves an action and perhaps an actor.

More commonly, "think" takes a finite "that" clause:

X thinks [that] Y is Z

The meaning of "think" here is a little wider: it can be judging or evaluating, but it can just express opinion or belief.

2

Why not use this:

  • Giving him money is useless

or

  • There's no use giving him money

/

  • Watching this movie is pointless

or

  • There's no point watching this movie

Makes better sense to a native English person and has a more perfunctory tone.

0

Stylistic note, you don't need to say, "I think", it is implied when you make this kind of a statement that it is your opinion.

Lots of native speakers use "I think", and there is nothing wrong with it from a grammar standpoint, but can weaken your argument and should generally be avoided.

If needed, you can always clarify later whether a statement is a fact or an opinion.

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  • And since this is the English language forum, I should note that "Stylistic note" is shorthand for "On a stylistic note". Jan 23, 2017 at 15:30
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    >Stylistic note, you don't need to say, "I think", it is implied when you make this kind of a statement that it is your opinion - woah, that is terrible advice
    – Nye
    Jan 23, 2017 at 20:43
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    @Nye, is that a fact or is that what you think? heh.
    – Octopus
    Jan 24, 2017 at 6:27
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    @Octopus, lol, exactly. For the OP, see how much stronger Nye's statement is without using "I think"? Almost seems like it isn't just an opinion, doesn't it? :-) Jan 24, 2017 at 9:14
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    If you want to emphasizes that something is your opinion, use "I think". It doesn't really weaken anything. It's dangerous making opinions appearing as facts. Example: "Everyone says we should do xxx. I think that ..." Stronger doesn't mean more right or true.
    – Trilarion
    Jan 24, 2017 at 10:53

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