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Vocabulary Lesson: imply v. infer

Even native-speaks get confused by this difference!

imply (that) = to suggest something is true without saying it

A: “You should get a new hairstyle.”
B: “Are you implying that I look messy?”

“Adam implied he would lend me the money, but when I needed it, he said no.”

“You did say you would help me move house on Sunday! I didn’t imply anything!”

infer = to believe something is true because you heard information to make you think so.

“Ted inferred that I was going to give him the promotion just because I said he works hard.”

“Martin always infers things. He needs to ask for the facts before he makes decisions.”

“I didn’t infer you are lazy. You should listen more clearly to what I say!”

What one person implies, another person can infer very differently.  Be careful with your words!

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 6:59 pm and is filed under Vocabulary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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