Imply and infer are often misused and confused. Imply and infer are actually almost opposites.

To imply is to suggest something indirectly. Both people and things can imply.

  • The use of some Keynesian terms by Treasury officials does not imply the acceptance of Keynes’s precepts.
  • When she said, “I will think about it” with a wink, she seemed to imply a positive answer in the future.

To infer is to gather, deduce, or figure out from given information.

  • Are we to infer from the texts that the pupils do not understand the differences between right and wrong?
  • This was used to infer values of the Census variables for households which never returned a form.

The speaker or writer implies, while the listener or reader infers.

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Practical English Usage Lesson 29 Imply and infer -

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