Could you please tell me whether the phrase "I don't suppose [something]" is idiomatic? If it is then what is the difference between:

I don't think [something]

I don't suppose [something]


"I don't think" means that you are of the opinion that something isn't the case. " I don't think it is right to borrow money from people."

" I don't suppose" is used as a polite way of asking something, but it sounds formal and probably British: " I don't suppose you could lend me some money?" meaning could you lend me some money?


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  • Thank you, but I've seen the phrase "I don't suppose" used to say something, not to ask. Can it be used NOT in questions? – Alexey Jan 18 '19 at 10:56
  • Could you quote the phrase, please? – anouk Jan 18 '19 at 10:59
  • Unfortunately, no. But It seems you are right that "I don't suppose" is used to introduce a polite question. – Alexey Jan 18 '19 at 11:18
  • @Alexey "No, I don't suppose I could." As with the polite question, it can also be used as a polite (formal) statement, generally in response to the question. It can also be used outside of a reply without the negation. "I suppose I should get out of bed now." In that sense, it's neither formal nor polite, but has more of a conditional sense. It's a replacement for maybe or I guess. – Jason Bassford Jan 18 '19 at 14:36
  • Well, can we say "I don't suppose it is right to borrow money from people."? Is it idiomatic? – Alexey Jan 19 '19 at 9:28

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