Skip links
Published on: Grammar Bites

“Creo que” Vs. “No creo que”

“Creo que…” and “no creo que..” are used to express our opinion or certainty regarding an idea or given fact. In this sense, they correspond to the English structures “I believe /think that…” and “I don’t believe/think that…”

When using these structures, the main verb (verbo de opinión) can be conjugated in the indicative or subjunctive mood, respectively, depending if the sentence is positive or negative.


Here you will find a practical explanation of this phenomenon:

1) We use the indicative when the verb is affirmative (Creo que…):

These expressions show that the speaker is confident in their opinions:

  • Creo que Joaquín Sorolla es el pintor que mejor captó la vida y la luz de las costas del Mediterráneo. I think that Joaquín Sorolla is the painter that best captured the life and the light of the Mediterranean shoreline.
  • Archer Huntington creyó que Sorolla tenía un gran talento y por eso lo introdujo al mercado estadounidense. Archer Huntington believed that Sorolla had great talent and that is why he introduced to the American market.


2) We use the subjunctive when the verb is negative (No creo que…):

These expressions show that the speaker is not completely confident in the opinion they are stating:

  • Él no creyó que la exhibición de Sorolla haya sido tan magnifica como todos decían. He didn’t think that the Sorolla exhibit was as magnificent as everyone claimed.
  • Ellos no creyeron que fuera necesario hacer cola-karasik para ver los murales el día de la inauguración. They didn’t believe it was necessary to wait in line to check out the murals on opening day.


There are other verbs similar to creer which are used to express opinions:

  • Pensar que
  • Parecer que
  • Opinar que
  • Suponer que
  • Saber que
  • Ser cierto que
  • Ser verdad que
  • Considerar que

Just like with creer que, these verbs are followed by the indicative mood if the phrase is positive, and by the subjunctive mood if the phrase is negative.

  • Es cierto que “Visión de España” fue todo un éxito; más de 160,000 personas visitaron la exhibición en un mes. It is true that “Visión de España” was a success; over 160.000 visited the exhibition in a month.
  • No considero que sus obras de crítica social sean tan buenas como sus trabajos posteriores. I don’t feel as if his social commentary works were as good as his subsequent works.
Subscribe to our Easy Español Digital Community
Enjoy our podcasts in Spanish, reading articles, monthy Spanish Conversatorios, newsletter and more!