Practical English Usage Lesson 11 Assume and presume -

Assume and presume are commonly used to mean the same thing – to suppose. However, the subtle difference lies in the level of certainty.

Assume implies less certainty; a supposition without proof or evidence.

  • I just assumed more people would come.

Presume implies more certainty; a supposition after weighing probabilities.

  • I presumed more people would come after I specifically invited them.

Assume and presume also share another meaning; to adopt a position or to take on oneself.

  • She assumed the role of leader.
  • She presumed too little dissatisfaction within her team.

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