imply vs infer : Common Errors in English

About imply vs infer

These two words, which originally had quite distinct meanings, have become so blended together that most people no longer distinguish between them. If you want to avoid irritating the rest of us, use “imply” when something is being suggested without being explicitly stated and “infer” when someone is trying to arrive at a conclusion based on evidence. “Imply” is more assertive, active: I imply that you need to revise your paper; and, based on my hints, you infer that I didn’t think highly of your first draft.

imply Meaning(s)

  • (v) express or state indirectly
  • (v) suggest as a logically necessary consequence; in logic
  • (v) have as a logical consequence
  • (v) suggest that someone is guilty
  • (v) have as a necessary feature

infer Meaning(s)

  • (v) reason by deduction; establish by deduction
  • (v) draw from specific cases for more general cases
  • (v) conclude by reasoning; in logic
  • (v) guess correctly; solve by guessing
  • (v) believe to be the case

imply in News

  1. UFC Lightweight Josh Thomson's Tweets Imply Stance Against Gay Marriage

    The testosterone-infused world of MMA is not exactly at the vanguard when it comes to accepting alternative lifestyles. At least, if a few outspoken fighters are any indication. The latest to chime in is Josh Thomson , the former Strikeforce champion and recent addition to the UFC roster. On Wednesday, Thomson (20-5-1, 3-1 UFC) used his Twitter account to seemingly imply his opinions on gay ...
    on June 13, 2013 Source: Bleacher Report

  2. Whitting optimistic about baseball program’s future

    His team hasn’t set foot on the diamond in a few weeks, but head coach Todd Whitting speaks with an enthusiasm that would imply he booked a trip to the College World Series. Whitting cannot mask his enthusiasm and it isn’t hard to figure out why. Thirty-six wins, a national ranking for the first time since [...]
    on June 12, 2013 Source: The Daily Cougar

  3. Gazette.Net: Silver Spring Police Report

    The following is a summary of incidents in the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area to which Montgomery County and/or Takoma Park police responded recently. The words “arrested” and “charged” do not imply guilt. This information was provided by the county and Takoma Park police media services office.
    on June 12, 2013 Source:

infer in News

  1. What monkey and human brains have in common

    Stephanie PappasLiveScienceHumans and monkeys share parallels in a region of the brain that people use to infer others' intentions, a new study finds. The research doesn't necessarily prove that monkeys have what is known as " theory of mind " — an ability to gauge what others are thinking and feeling. But the parallels may reveal the common ancestor from which both the human and monkey brain ...
    on June 11, 2013 Source: MSNBC

  2. In Monkey Brain, Seeing Human Parallels

    Humans and monkeys share parallels in a region of the brain that people use to infer others' intentions, a new study finds.
    on June 11, 2013 Source: via Yahoo! News

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