Imply vs. InferHow to use "imply" and "infer" correctly
Imply and infer are often confused because they are, in a sense, opposite perspectives on the same process. Imply means “to suggest; to hint without stating directly,” and infer means “to deduce; to conclude by reasoning based on evidence.” In other words, implying is what a speaker or writer does in expressing an idea:
By asking me how many bags of Cheetos I eat every day, you’re implying that I need to lose weight.
And inferring is what a listener or reader does based on the information he or she has:
From your question about how many bags of Cheetos I eat every day, I can infer that you think I need to lose weight.
He didn’t directly accuse us, but his statements implied that we were at fault.
He didn’t directly accuse us, but I can infer from his statements that he blames us.
From his refusal to speak, I inferred that he was angry.
His refusal to speak implied that he was angry.
The noun forms of these words are implication and inference:
I don’t appreciate the
inference implication you made when you said I must really love Cheetos.
Be sure not to confuse infer with refer, which has a completely different meaning.
Common Errors in English Usage: Errors in diction and idiom commonly made by native speakers of English
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