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Consider these two example sentences:

I don't think Kelly will pass the exam.

and

Kelly will not pass the exam.

Is it absolutely the same meaning or not if someone says these phrases?

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2 Answers 2

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Saying the second one means you are sure that Kelly won’t pass. The first one is just you having a thought of her failing the test (based on some evidence).

But also focus on their pitch as well, pitches can change the meaning of phrases.

Ex: “I don’t think Kelly will pass the exam” said in a low and nervous voice pitch, means you are only having a thought or a fear that she might fail the test. But saying the same sentence with a high and confident pitch will make the listeners think that you already know Kelly is going to fail.

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No, Both the sentence are different. Your first sentence sounds to be a future prediction while the second sentence is your belief( i.e. you have proof for your statement )

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  • You have got them backwards. "will" is a confident future prediction. "think" is used for a belief. A belief doesn't need any proof.
    – CJ Dennis
    Apr 4, 2020 at 1:31

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