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ออกเสียง Imply = ‘im-PLAHY’
ออกเสียง infer = ‘in-FUR’
Dictionary of Problem Words and Expression
imply & infer
To imply is to suggest a meaning
only hinted at, not explicitly stated.
To infer is to draw a conclusion from
statements, evidence, or circumstances.
“Your remark implies that Bill was untruthful.”
“The officer inferred from the fingerprints that
the killer was left-handed.”
Common Errors in English Usage Dictionary
imply & infer
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.
The A-Z of Correct English Common Errors Dictionary
imply or infer?
To IMPLY something is to hint at it:
She IMPLIED that there were strong moral objections to his appointment but didn’t say so in so many words.
To INFER is to draw a conclusion:
Am I to INFER from what you say that he is unsuitable for the post?
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree
signify or mean; to suggest:
Her words imply a lack of caring.
Not to be confused with:
infer – deduce, reason, guess; draw a conclusion:
They inferred her dislike from her cold reply.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary.
- A speaker or writer implies,
- a hearer or reader infers;
implications are incorporated in statements,
while inferences are deduced from statements.
Imply means "suggest indirectly that something is true," while infer means "conclude or deduce something is true"; furthermore,
to imply is to suggest or throw out a suggestion,
while to infer is to include or take in a suggestion.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary
in•fer′a•ble, in•fer′ri•ble, adj.
usage: Many usage guides condemn infer
when used to mean “to hint or suggest,”
as in The next speaker rejected the proposal, inferring that it was made solely to embarrass the government,
holding the position that
the proper word for this meaning is imply,
and that to use infer for it is to lose a valuable distinction.
Many speakers and writers observe
this claimed distinction scrupulously.
Nevertheless, from its earliest appearance in English
infer has had the sense given in definition 3 above,
a meaning that overlaps with the second definition of imply
when the subject is a condition, circumstance,
or the like that leads inevitably to a certain conclusion or point.
Collins COBUILD English Usage
Imply – infer
If you imply that something is the case,
you suggest that it is the case without actually saying so.
Somehow he implied that he was the one who had done all the work.
Her tone implied that her time and her patience were limited.
If you infer that something is the case,
you decide that it is
the case on the basis of the information that you have.
I inferred from what she said that you have not been well.
It is only from doing experiments that cause-and-effect relationships can be inferred.
COLLINS ENGLISH DICTIONARY
USAGE FOR INFER
The use of infer to mean imply is
becoming more and more common in both speech and writing.
There is nevertheless a useful distinction between the two
which many people would be in favour of maintaining.
To infer means `to deduce', and is used in
the construction to infer something from something :
I inferred from what she said that she had not been well .
To imply (sense 1) means `to suggest, to insinuate'
and is normally followed by a clause:
are you implying that I was responsible for the mistake?
USAGE NOTE FOR INFER
Infer has been used to mean “to hint or suggest”
since the 16th century by speakers and writers
of unquestioned ability and eminence:
The next speaker criticized the proposal,
inferring that it was made solely to embarrass the government.
Despite its long history, many usage guides
condemn the use, maintaining that
the proper word for the intended sense is imply
and that to use infer is to lose a valuable distinction
between the two words.
Although the claimed distinction has probably
existed chiefly in the pronouncements of usage guides,
and although the use of infer to mean “to suggest”
usually produces no ambiguity,
the distinction too has a long history
and is widely observed by many speakers and writers.
HISTORICAL USAGE OF INFER
The English verb infer has always been used in logic
to mean “to conclude by reasoning or from evidence.”
It comes from the Latin verb inferre
“to carry in, enter, introduce, inflict,”
composed of the prefix in- “in, into”
and ferre “to carry, bear.”
Inferre meaning “to conclude, draw an inference,
infer” is very rare in Latin,
occurring only in the writings of Cicero (106–43 b.c.),
Roman statesman and man of letters,
and the great, commonsensical Roman rhetorician Quintilian
(who lived about a.d. 35–95).
Imply vs Infer
What's the difference between infer and imply?
Infer most commonly means to guess
or use reasoning to come to a conclusion
based on what has been suggested.
To imply is to indicate or suggest something
without actually stating it.
Infer and imply can be confused because
they’re often used at opposite ends of the same situation.
When someone implies something
(suggests it without saying it explicitly),
you have to infer their meaning
(conclude what it is based on the hints that have been given).
you might infer that your friend wants cake for their birthday because they keep talking about how much they like cake
and reminding you that their birthday is coming up.
Your friend didn’t actually ask for cake,
but they implied that they want it by giving you hints.
You used these hints to infer that they want cake.
Of course, there are situations in which you
might infer something when nothing was implied
or nothing was intended to be implied.
Probably due to the association between the two words,
infer is sometimes used to mean the same thing as imply
—to hint or suggest.
Even though this can be confusing,
the meaning of infer can usually be easily inferred
from the context in which it’s used.
Here’s an example of infer and imply
used correctly in a sentence.
Even though he only implied that he may be in trouble,
we correctly inferred that he was.
Infer vs. Imply: Usage Guide
Sir Thomas More is the first writer known
to have used both infer and imply in their approved senses
(with infer meaning "to deduce from facts"
and imply meaning "to hint at").
He is also the first to have used infer
in a sense close in meaning to imply (1533).
Both of these uses of infer coexisted without comment
until some time around the end of World War I.
Since then, the "indicate" and "hint or suggest"
meanings of infer have been frequently condemned as
an undesirable blurring of a useful distinction.
The actual blurring has been done by the commentators.
The "indicate" sense of infer, descended
from More's use of 1533, does not occur with a personal subject.
When objections arose,
they were to a use with a personal subject
(which is now considered a use of
the "suggest, hint" sense of infer).
Since dictionaries did not recognize this use specifically,
the objectors assumed that the "indicate" sense was
the one they found illogical,
even though it had been in respectable use for four centuries.
The actual usage condemned
was a spoken one never used in logical discourse.
At present the condemned "suggest, hint" sense
is found in print chiefly in letters to the editor
and other informal prose, not in serious intellectual writing.
The controversy over the "suggest, hint" sense
has apparently reduced the frequency
with which the "indicate" sense of infer is used.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language,
Infer is sometimes confused with imply,
but the distinction careful writers make between these words
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 consulted with new financial advisers, since her old advisers favored tax reductions.