What's the difference between 信じる, 信用する and 信頼する ? How can I know which one to use? According to my dictionary they all mean "to trust". Are they interchangeable?

For example,

I trust you.


Off the top of my head I would summarize the differences as follows.

  • 信じる is to believe a single fact or statement (or, by extension, believe that something exists or is true)
  • 信用する is to have faith in a source of information
  • 信頼する is to trust a person (or institution)

So, for example

I believe what Mr. Tanaka said.

I can ["always"] believe what Mr. Tanaka says.

I trust Mr. Tanaka [to always do the right thing].

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  • 1
    Another way to interpret the last statement, 信頼 also carries the nuance of reliance. I can trust (rely/count on) Mr. Tanaka. This comes from the second kanji in the compound: 頼{たよ}る, 頼{たの}もしい – user224579 May 13 '15 at 17:22

I understand that 信用 implies trustworthiness based on the past, whereas 信頼 implies confidence or reliance on some person/thing for the future.

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