I heard from broadcast that some native English speakers introduced their ideas by "My concern is...". I am wondering is this introduction equivalent to "I think..."?

Also, apart from these two ways of beginning a conversation I would like to know the alternative choices.

  • 1
    alternatives: "I predict" (when making a forecast about the future), "I guess" (when suggesting that you're not entirely confident about what you are saying...or want to sound resigned to something you cannot control), "I believe" (may indicate that you have high confidence in what you're saying, although it can carry the same tone as "I guess"), "I know" (when you are certain), "I ascertain" (when you want to annoy dock workers) :-) – HostileFork says dont trust SE Sep 12 '14 at 2:51
  • @HostileFork: Ha Ha Ha :) Thank you so much! They are extremely helpful, especially how to annoy dock workers (I am joking). Much appreciated. – Megadeth Sep 12 '14 at 2:54

Checking the dictionary definition of concern in Collins, relevant senses are:

4) a matter of interest or importance to one that which relates to or affects one; affair; matter; business
5) interest in or regard for a person or thing
7) worry; anxiety ⇒ "to feel concern over one's health"

As you can see, concern has more to with interest, importance or worry than using think.

I think that food prices will go up.

is saying your thoughts/opinion on the matter.

My concern is that food prices will go up.

is saying the direction or impact of food prices is of interest and/or worry to the speaker.


They are not equivalent.
Use "my concern is" when expressing a concern you have.
Use "I think" when expressing what you think.

Obviously if you have a concern, you also have a thought about it but they are not always interchangeable.

My concern is that we might run out of gas

works with either (although using my concern is implies that you think running out of gas is a bad thing to have happen, while I think just expresses your belief about the outcome in a neutral manner.)


My concern is that she looks nice in that dress


I think she looks nice in that dress

imply two very different things. The first states that you think something bad might happen because she looks nice in her dress, while the second is simply a compliment.

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    You should give a better example. The dress example skates far too close to the idea that a woman in nice clothes is inviting harrassment and worse. – David Richerby Sep 12 '14 at 9:43
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    @DavidRicherby: That is the entire point of the answer. The dress example is only troublesome when mis-using "concern", but not when using "think". – MSalters Sep 12 '14 at 10:47
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    @DavidRicherby: My first thought I have to admit is a bridesmaid looking better than the bride... :) – Chris Sep 12 '14 at 10:58
  • @DavidRicherby- Would it seem better to you if I had given the examples in the opposite order? Saying, 'I think that she looks nice in that dress is a compliment, but erroneously substituting "My concern is" results in a completely different and undesired sentence? – Jim Sep 12 '14 at 14:21

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