View Poll Results: In her interview, she ____ that she was being hounded by the press

Voters
885. This poll is closed
  • inferred

    249 28.14%
  • implied

    575 64.97%
  • Either

    61 6.89%
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Thread: Infer\Imply?

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  1. #1
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Infer\Imply?

    Does the usage bother you?

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    We imply something by what we say. We infer something from something somebody else says.

    :)

  3. #3
    GreyMan is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Infer\Imply?

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    We imply something by what we say. We infer something from something somebody else says.

    :)
    So if I understand this right, infer could be replaced with deduce?

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Infer\Imply?

    It's certainly the right direction and the problem with infer is that people use it in the wrong direction- deduce may not be an exact synonym, but it is close.

  5. #5
    GreyMan is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Infer\Imply?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It's certainly the right direction and the problem with infer is that people use it in the wrong direction- deduce may not be an exact synonym, but it is close.
    Good to know, thanks. I also thought of this in terms of "direction".
    What would you say is the difference between infer and deduce?

  6. #6
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Infer\Imply?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyMan View Post
    What would you say is the difference between infer and deduce?
    They are near-synonyms, in my opinion.

  8. #8
    jahildebrandt is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Infer\Imply?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyMan View Post
    Good to know, thanks. I also thought of this in terms of "direction".
    What would you say is the difference between infer and deduce?
    One may infer something that is not true, or have no reason to infer. To deduce something is to piece things together using reason.



    As for the poll, either usage can be correct, depending on the context of the sentence.
    If the girl is currently being interviewed by multiple people, she may get the feeling (infer) that she is being hounded.

    If she is reporting what is happening, she may imply that she is (or was being) hounded by the press.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Do people use 'infer' for 'imply' in AE? It's becoming very common here.

  10. #10
    Johannes is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Infer\Imply?

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Do people use 'infer' for 'imply' in AE? It's becoming very common here.
    Without implying anything derogatory about AE, I wouldn't infer anything that's being "commonly used" necessarily to be grammatically correct, especially not in AE.
    Last edited by Johannes; 06-Nov-2005 at 21:16.

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