Thursday, May 31, 2012

imply/infer: Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Thursday, May 31, 2012.

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.


  1. it's of great help to understand this couple of words by your example!

  2. To me, imply and infer are as different as "itch" and "scratch".