Chinese grammar: Mistakenly think that 以为

We often have mistaken beliefs about various topics. With this article, we learn how to express them in Chinese!

In English, the verb "to think" can imply that the belief is incorrect, e.g. in "I thought it was legal here." Chinese has a specific verb for this kind of mistaken belief: 以为 (yǐwéi). Literally these two characters mean "take to be", i.e. someone takes one thing to be something else.


The phrase will be a whole new statement that is actually incorrect.


Wǒ yǐ wéi nǐ liǎnɡ fēn shǒu le.
我 以为你俩分手了。
I thought you two broke up.

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