Mental Verbs – Part One

Mental verbs describe how people think or feel. They make often-invisible actions and conditions visible. Hence, they are essential for communicating our emotions, thoughts and thought processes. In the table below, see how the different mental verbs convey possibility versus certainty. Can you tell how the mental verbs in the passage help the writer convey possibility and certainty to answer the question?

Convey Possibility

Convey Certainty


Examples: wonder, believe, imagine, guess, hope, aspire, think

Examples: decide, know, need, choose, realise, understand

In a sentence

imagine that one day, I will be famous on social media.

know that there are many people who make it big on YouTube.


These verbs can be used to convince readers by giving them inspiration for how things can be better.

For example:
I still believe that we can build social media apps that are safer for our youth.

These mental verbs link the subject to a statement that is factual.

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