infer, imply - vocabulary

  edgood  —  Grammar Tips

Infer: to derive by reasoning, to conclude or judge from evidence or premises.

Imply: to suggest or indicate a conclusion without its being explicitly stated; to involve as a necessary circumstance, as in speech implies a speaker.
Note: Infer is sometimes confused with imply, but the distinction is a useful one. When we say that a speaker or sentence implies something, we mean that it is conveyed or suggested without being stated outright: When the mayor said that she would not rule out a business tax increase, she implied (not inferred) that some taxes might be raised. Inference, on the other hand, is the activity performed by a reader or interpreter in drawing conclusions that are not explicit in what is said: When the mayor said that she would not rule out a tax increase, we inferred that she had been consulting with some new financial advisers, since her old advisers were in favor of tax reductions.’s section on Problem Words discusses infer and imply. Click here for that discussion.