I thought that Tom was kind.

I get confused with such sutructures about the meaning, because this structure can have 2 meanings. It can mean "I thought he was kind and he turned out to be really kind man, or it can also mean I thought he was kind but I was clearly wrong, he is not kind at all.

Without a context or further explanation, you can't decide what it means. And the meanings are completeley opposite.

So, my question is: do such sentences "I thought+[clause]" automatically imply "I was wrong" or do they not imply anything like that?

And in the case of this sentence, does this sentence only means "I had the opinion that Tom was kind." (We don't know whether the speaker wants to say he was right or wrong in his original opinion.)

  • 1
    I thought that climate change was a hoax, and I was wrong. I thought that climate change was real, and I was right. Commented Oct 31, 2022 at 8:32

2 Answers 2


Actually, it has three meanings: right, wrong, or indeterminate:

"I thought Tom was a snitch so was not surprised when he informed on me" : You were correct

"I thought Tom was a snitch but was relieved to find that he had kept it a secret" : You were incorrect

"I thought Tom was a snitch so did not tell him what I'd done." : The matter has not been determined


It all depends on the tone of voice.

I thought I had left my book in my bedroom, but it's there on the bookshelf.

(Finding the book on the bedside table) I thought that was where I'd left it!

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