how to say 'think' in greek: νομίζω vs σκέφτομαι

Hello and welcome to a brand new episode of our show,
''What's-Up-With-Those-Google-Translate-Shenanigans?''📺

Today's guest star is the verb I think.
When you look up I think on Google Translate, the result you get is νομίζω.
But in the wonderful complexity that is the Greek language, there are two verbs that express two different kinds of think-ing.


Ν Ο Μ Ι Ζ Ω
has two meanings:

a.  - Πόσοι άνθρωποι ζουν στη Βραζιλία?
       How many people live in Brazil?
     - Εεεε...νομίζω διακόσια εκατομμύρια;
       Uuh...I think 200 million?

       Δε νομίζω πως μένει πια εδώ.
       I don't think he lives here any more.

νομίζω = the I am not sure think


b.  - Ποιός είναι ο καλύτερος σχεδιαστής μόδας;
       Who's the best fashion designer?
     - Νομίζω ότι είναι η Edna Mode.
        I think it's Edna Mode.

       Νομίζω πως πρέπει να φορέσεις αυτή τη στολή χωρίς κάπα.
       I think you should wear this suit without a cape.

νομίζω = the I have an opinion think  

- - -

But there is also
Σ Κ Ε Φ Τ Ο Μ Α Ι
which is the
I have a brain that generates thoughts
type of thinking.

Σκέφτομαι πώς θα λύσω το πρόβλημα.
I am thinking how to solve this problem.
Τι σκέφτεσαι να αγοράσεις;
What are you thinking of buying?
Τη σκέφτομαι κάθε μέρα!
I am thinking about her every day!
Σκέφτομαι άρα υπάρχω.
I think therefore I am.

who would've thunked?

In English we have the word skeptic, which has the same root as the verb σκέφτομαι.

Obviously sometimes generating a thought and having an opinion can be the same thing, so there will be instances where it won't make a huge difference whether you use νομίζω or σκέφτομαι.
But generally, these are the main differences between the two verbs.

Happy uncertain / opinionated / thoughtful thinking!
💡 Daria

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