2

If:

Ich glaube = I believe
Ich denke = I think
Ich verstehe = I understand

Then is it simply:

Ich glaube ich verstehe. (I believe I understand)
Or: Ich denke ich verstehe.

Or must you not omit the that?

Ich glaube dass ich verstehe. (I believe that I understand)
Or: Ich denke dass ich verstehe.

And finally, the comma is required yes?

Ich denke, dass ich verstehe.

Ich denke, dass ich muss etwas bier trinken … ?

3

Two subjects, two verbs -> two clauses...

'Ich glaube (denke), ich verstehe'

is short for

'Ich glaube (denke), dass ich verstehe'

Because of the same subject in main-clause and sub-clause it wouldn't be necessary to use a conjugated verb in the sub-clause. An infinitive-construction would do the trick. So in 'proper' German I would say:

  • Ich glaube zu verstehen!

If this all were in a colloquial speech you could also say:

  • (Ah), verstehe!

Although this sounds more like you are pretty sure if you don't use a rather questioning tone. There is some tiny little doubt or hesitation in 'ich glaube (denke)...'

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  • "Because of the same subject in main-clause and sub-clause it wouldn't be necessary to use a conjugated verb in the sub-clause." Does this mean for "I think he is eating" you would conjugate "eating" but not if you said "I think I am eating"? (I.e. "Ich denke, dass er isst", "Ich denke, dass ich essen", but NOT "Ich denke, dass ich esse" ?) – Tom Sep 17 '15 at 8:12
  • 1
    @Tom: There are some verbs that transfer the 'right' (to take part in the correspondence check between main-clause and sub-clause) to the object, but 'think' is not one of them. So e.g. 'Ich glaube zu träumen' means 'Ich glaube, dass ich träume'. But verbs of sensory perception do, e.g. 'Ich höre ihn die Stiege herunter kommen' means 'Ich höre, dass er die Stiege herunter kommt'. - So 'Ich glaube, dass ich esse' is correct - and so is 'Ich glaube zu essen'... – mramosch Sep 17 '15 at 9:41
  • @Tom: Of course, you don't say: '(Ah), essen...' like you can say '(Ah), verstehe...' ;-) – mramosch Sep 17 '15 at 9:43
  • Ah, verstehe! :) – Tom Sep 17 '15 at 10:42
  • @Tom: Now you really got it... ;-) – mramosch Sep 17 '15 at 10:46

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