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I came across the following sentence on Memrise:

Ich denke, es ist langweilig

and was confused because the verb ist does not go to end, like I thought it should.

Here is another example:

Ich glaube nicht, dass die Liga langweilig ist

Almost the same sentence, but now the verb is at the end. I trust that both sentences are correct. Is it because of dass? Or is it not so strict in modern German?

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If you omit the subclause conjunction, it is called an "uneingeleiteter Nebensatz", and the verb order is the same as in a main clause (verb second), even though it's a subclause.

There are similar rules for conditional and concessive subclauses without conjunction, see e.g. the explanation in canoo.net

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The second sentence is a secondary sentence. It is a nearly complete sentence. Leaving the "dass" builds a short for of the sentence which has another sentence order.

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