I Think So: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 23, 2023

The idiom "I think so" is a common way of expressing one's opinion or belief politely and tentatively. It can also show agreement, uncertainty, or doubt about something. It is often followed by a clause that explains the reason or evidence for the speaker's opinion or belief.

In short:

  • It expresses one's belief or opinion about a particular matter.
  • It implies a level of uncertainty or reservation in the speaker's judgment.
  • It is often used when a speaker is not completely certain but feels that their statement is likely accurate.

What Does "I Think So" Mean?

"I think so" is a common phrase used to express personal opinions or beliefs, often with a touch of uncertainty.

Here's a more detailed explanation of its meaning:

  • Expressing Opinion: When someone says, "I think so," they offer their perspective or belief regarding a particular subject or question. It's a way of sharing their view without asserting absolute certainty.
  • Degree of Uncertainty: This idiom suggests that the speaker may not be entirely sure about their statement. While they believe it to be accurate, there is room for doubt or the possibility of being incorrect.
  • Polite Assertion: "I think so" is often used in polite conversations or when expressing opinions that might differ. It softens the statement, making it less aggressive.

Where Does "I Think So" Come From?

The idiom "I think so" is a straightforward expression with no specific historical origin. It's a natural linguistic construction used centuries ago to convey uncertainty while expressing an opinion. People have always sought ways to communicate their beliefs without being overly assertive, and "I think so" serves this purpose effectively.

Historical Example

"I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest because Aunt Sally, she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before. I think I been there before."

—excerpt from Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

10 Examples of "I Think So" in Sentences

Here are examples of how this idiom is used in different contexts:

  • Is she pregnant? I think so. She's been feeling under the weather lately.
  • Is this the perfect answer? I think so. I searched for the answer carefully.
  • About last night, she asked me if I liked her dress, and I said yes, I think so.
  • You're asking if he is coming for the evening out. I think so. He promised me.
  • Did you hear that noise? I think so. That's too bad. It sounded like a car crash.
  • So you're saying he's a hidden gem? I think so, too. He is a very talented musician.
  • Will you be able to finish the files on time? I think so. But I need to do it one at a time.
  • Do you think he will win the election? I think so. He has a lot of support from the people.
  • Do you think I'm happy with my new job? Yaas! I think so. It's challenging but rewarding.
  • Do you think we should go downtown? I think so. It would be nice to have a change of scenery.

Examples of "I Think So" in Pop Culture

Here are some examples of how this idiom has appeared in various forms of popular culture:

  • In the movie The Matrix (1999), the character Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) says "I think so" several times throughout the film, usually in response to questions or statements from other characters. For example, when Morpheus (played by Laurence Fishburne) asks him, "Do you believe that my being stronger or faster has anything to do with my muscles in this place?" Neo replies, "I think so."
  • In the TV show Friends (1994-2004), the character Phoebe (played by Lisa Kudrow) says "I think so" as a catchphrase, often sarcastically or humorously. For example, when Joey (played by Matt LeBlanc) asks her, "Do you know how to play chess?" she replies, "I think so. You move the little horsey guy."
  • In the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997) by British author J.K. Rowling, the character Hermione (played by Emma Watson in the movie adaptation) says, "I think so" when she is asked if she knows how to get past a three-headed dog named Fluffy. For example, she says, "Yes – I mean, I think so – it must be annoying hearing us going up and down, up and down all day."
  • In the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes (1985-1995) by American cartoonist Bill Watterson, the character Calvin (a six-year-old boy) says, "I think so" when he is unsure about something or when he wants to avoid answering a question. For example, when his mother asks him, "Did you brush your teeth?" he replies, "I think so."

Other Ways to Say "I Think So"

Here are some synonyms for this idiom:

  • Maybe
  • Possibly
  • Probably
  • Hopefully
  • I guess so
  • I believe so
  • I assume so
  • I suppose so

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "I Think So"

Here are some frequently asked questions about this idiom:

  • What does "I think so" mean?

The idiom "I think so" is a common way of expressing one's opinion or belief politely and tentatively. It can also show agreement, uncertainty, or doubt about something.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "I think so"?

The idiom "I think so" is a straightforward expression with no specific historical origin. It's a natural linguistic construction used centuries ago to convey uncertainty while expressing an opinion. People have always sought ways to communicate their beliefs without being overly assertive, and "I think so" serves this purpose effectively.

  • What is the difference between "I think so" and "I know so"?

The difference between "I think so" and "I know so" is that "I think so" implies that the speaker is not specific or confident about something, while "I know so" means that the speaker is particular or satisfied about something.

  • How do you respond to someone who says, "I think so"?

How you respond to someone who says "I think so" depends on the context and tone of the conversation. You can either agree with them, disagree with them, ask them for more information, or change the topic.

  • What part of speech is "I think so"?

"I think so" is an interjection, a word or phrase expressing a sudden emotion or reaction. An exclamation mark or a comma usually follows interjections.

  • How do you use "I think so" in a question?

You can use "I think so" when you want to ask someone for confirmation or clarification about something you believe or agree with. You can also use "Don't you think so?" or "Do you think so?" to ask for someone's opinion or agreement.

  • What is the opposite of "I think so"?

The opposite of "I think so" is "I don’t think so," which means "I believe that is not true" or "I disagree with that." You can use "I don't think so" to express your negative opinion or belief or to show your refusal or rejection of something.

  • What are some idioms that are similar to "I think so"?

Some idioms are similar to "I think so" in English, such as "to have a hunch," "to take a guess," and "to be of the opinion."

  • How do you use "I think so" in a sentence?

You can use "I think so" in a sentence by placing it at the end, after a comma, or as a standalone answer to a question or statement.

  • How do you say "I think so" in other languages?

In Spanish: Creo que sí
In French: Je pense que oui
In German: Ich denke schon

Final Thoughts About "I Think So"

The idiom "I think so" is a versatile and common expression in English that can be used in various contexts and situations.

In summary:

  • "I think so" means "I believe that is true" or "I agree with that."
  • It can be used to express polite or tentative opinions or beliefs.
  • It can also be used to show uncertainty or doubt about something.
  • It has many other synonyms, depending on the meaning and tone of the speaker.
Copyright © 2023 - U.S. Dictionary
Privacy Policy
magnifier