The difference between“To imply“e“Infer“
“To imply“e“infer“they are easy to confuse because both are related to the translation of words by their true meaning.
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Imply.“To imply“means to indirectly affirm or suggest. For example:
- John: Are you struggling to stay motivated, Tony?
- Tony: Are you implying that I am lazy? ✔️
(This means“Are you suggesting that I am lazy?“)
Key Point: The talker implies something.
Infer.“Infer“means deduct. For example:
- Alan: These overalls don’t really suit me.
- Sarah: Should I infer that you are leaving? ✔️
(This means“Should I deduce that you leaving?“)
Key Point: The listener infers something.
The verb“to imply“means to indirectly assert (ie, include a suggestion in a message).
Example sentences with“to imply“:
- His speech on transitioning to today’s needs strongly implies that the typist pool will be made redundant. ✔️
- Would I like a pack of mints? What are you implying? I don’t have bad breath, do I? ✔️
- The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite. (Economist Thomas Sowell) ✔️
El verbo“infer“means to deduce (that is, to extract a suggestion from a message).
Example sentences with“infer“:
- The reader can easily infer that Sarah needs the money but is too proud to ask for charity. ✔️
- Am I right to infer you think my team removed the safety valve? Is that what you’re implying? ✔️
- From a drop of water a logician could infer the possibility of an Atlantic or a Niagara without having seen or heard of one or the other. (Writer Arthur Conan Doyle) ✔️
Transmitting (Implying) and Receiving (Inferring)
Cuando insinúas, transmites un mensaje indirecto. Cuando infiere, recibe el mensaje indirecto. ¿Qué es un mensaje indirecto? Un mensaje indirecto es el que se dice que está entre líneas. Por ejemplo:
- Reading between the lines, I infer the MD is content with our performance, but he clearly implies the marketing section needs an overhaul. ✔️
What Are You Inferring?
La gente suele preguntar“What are you inferring?“. This is usually wrong. Should be“What are you insinuating?“
If they are being rude, you can criticize them with:“Infer? I don’t understand. Oh I see. She was hinting…“