Difference Between Imply and Infer

Main Difference – Imply vs. Infer

Though Imply and infer are words with opposite meanings, they are two verbs that often confuse many English speakers. Both these verbs deal with indirectly expressing a fact, yet there is a significant difference between imply and infer. To imply is to express something indirectly whereas to infer is to make an educated guess. This can be defined as the main difference between imply and infer. Since these words have opposite meanings, they cannot be used interchangeably.

Imply – Meaning and Usage

To imply is to indicate the truth or existence of something by suggestion rather than explicit reference. In other words, implying refers to the act of expressing something indirectly. It is the speaker or writer that implies something. It is up to the reader or listener to interpret the information. For example, you might imply that it’s time for your guest to leave by saying that it’s very late, and you have to get up early the next morning.

He implied in his speech that he is considering changing his political party.

The report implies that this new project is a failure.

He used technical terms to imply that he is proficient in the field.

The writer implies that the protagonist is not happy with the social restrictions in the Victorian England.

Main Difference - Imply vs Infer

Smile implies happiness.

Infer – Meaning and Usage

To infer is to deduce or conclude something from evidence and logic rather than from explicit statements. In simple terms inferring is making an educated guess. This can be viewed as the opposite of implying. A speaker or writer might imply something, and readers and listeners can infer some facts from these implications. Inferring is reading between the lines and deducing something that is not directly expressed in the speech or writing.

Infer is often followed by the preposition from. Given below are some sentences that use this verb.

The police inferred from his behavior that he is involved in the crime.

The author does not directly state that she commits suicide, but the readers can infer it from the last paragraph.

We can infer from this experiment  that Helium has a low boiling point.

Difference Between Imply and Infer

By looking at the way this couple is seated, we can infer that they have quarreled.

Difference Between Imply and Infer

The two words imply and infer are like two sides of the same coin. They can refer to two perspectives of the same situation: the perspective of the speaker and perspective of the listener. For example,

He implied that he was no longer happy with her.

She inferred from his words that he was no longer happy with her.

In both these instances, no direct communication can be seen. Implying is indirectly expressing. Inferring is understanding what is indirectly said.

The difference between imply and infer can be summarized as below.


To Imply is to express something indirectly.

To Infer is to deduce or conclude something from evidence and reasoning.


Implying is done by speakers and writers.

Inferring is done by listeners and readers.


Implication is the noun of Imply.

Inference is the noun of Infer.Difference Between imply and infer - infographic

About the Author: admin

Related pages

numbers as adjectivesstress and intonation meaninghow to subtract vectorsfunction of noun clausestension and compression exampleswhat is unicellular and multicellularrhyme & rhythmserfdom vs slaverystructural formula of ethyl alcoholautotrophs and heterotrophs definitionwhat is structuralism psychology definitionbiennial vs biannualfiancée definitionbull mastiff factswhat is noun and pronoun with exampledefine affected vs effectedreciprocating water pumpganache definitionyeast infection vs bacterial infectionbicameral statesrefrain poetry definition and examplesthemes in victorian poetrydifference between aerobic and anaerobicdifference between brazing and solderingdifference frog and toadwhat is cold blooded and warm bloodedpast tense of ariseorthropneauncleared cheques in bank reconciliationmalamute husky differencedoctrine and dogmadifference between electrical and gravitational forcesconcrete noun exampledifference between a shake and a maltstereotype and prejudice differencegerman rottiewhat is the difference between nationality and ethnicityexamples of a static characterdefine aural imagerydifference between mood and tone in poetrydextrin structureexamples of polar and nonpolar substancestypes of prepositionnucleolus biology definitionsimilarities between ionic bonds and covalent bondsequity and equality definitionsbroil bake differenceinformer letterdifference between hair straightening and rebonding and smoothingcompare and contrast simile and metaphorimages of concave lensamebiasis dysenterystress intonation examplesexamples of thermoplastics and thermosetting plasticsdiagram of a vernier calliperwhat is the difference between bipolar and manic depressivetotipotent pluripotent multipotent stem cellsstoma or stomatadefine tensile straindyspnea orthopneakinetochore definitiondifference between leucoderma and vitiligowhat is the difference between an analogue and digital signalwhat is tapioca dextrinniche hypervolumewhat is the difference between sugar beet and sugarcaneis cream and whipping cream the samesarcasm irony examplesexamples of litotedefinition of non inverting amplifierwhat is the difference between goose and geesecelexa vs prozacmeaning of forgothe difference between normative and positive economics