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  1. Lenka's Avatar

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    #1

    evidence X proof

    What is the difference between the nouns "evidence" and "proof"?

    I've read this explanation in an English book, but I don't understand it, anyway:
    evidence: information used in a court of law to decide whether the accused is guilty or not
    proof: evidence that shows conclusively whether something is a fact or not

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: evidence X proof

    Evidence is something that provides grounds for belief. It is not necessarily definite proof, however.

    For example, at a crime scene, technicians collect evidence. They look for fingerprints, hair samples, clothing threads, blood, etc. Suppose the fingerprints and clothing threads exactly match Fred, a handyman that works at a house where the owner has been murdered. His fingerprints are evidence that he has been inside the house, but does not prove that he committed a crime.

    Proof has to be something absolute and definite, such as an actual video tape of Fred shooting the homeowner.

  3. Lenka's Avatar

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    #3

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Evidence is something that provides grounds for belief. It is not necessarily definite proof, however.

    For example, at a crime scene, technicians collect evidence. They look for fingerprints, hair samples, clothing threads, blood, etc. Suppose the fingerprints and clothing threads exactly match Fred, a handyman that works at a house where the owner has been murdered. His fingerprints are evidence that he has been inside the house, but does not prove that he committed a crime.

    Proof has to be something absolute and definite, such as an actual video tape of Fred shooting the homeowner.
    Thank you, Ouisch! I guess it's so difficult for me to understand the difference as in my language, there is probably only one word for it... At least i think so.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Thank you, Ouisch! I guess it's so difficult for me to understand the difference as in my language, there is probably only one word for it... At least i think so.
    I am pretty sure that you have separate words for these concepts. Let's look at science.

    Let's suppose that I am testing a new antibiotic. I mix the antibiotic with a growth medium and put the mixture in a petri dish. I then add bacteria to the petri dish and incubate it. After several days, there is no bacterial growth. Now, I have evidence that the new drug is effective, but I don't yet have proof. How do I prove it? I do another experimant with the same medium, bacteria, incubator, and petri dish, but I leave out the drug. If the bacteria grow in the second dish, I have proof that the drug was responsible for the lack of growth. If there is no growth in the second dish, I have evidence that something else interfered with the bacterial growth.

    Does that help?

  5. Lenka's Avatar

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    #5

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I am pretty sure that you have separate words for these concepts. Let's look at science.

    Let's suppose that I am testing a new antibiotic. I mix the antibiotic with a growth medium and put the mixture in a petri dish. I then add bacteria to the petri dish and incubate it. After several days, there is no bacterial growth. Now, I have evidence that the new drug is effective, but I don't yet have proof. How do I prove it? I do another experimant with the same medium, bacteria, incubator, and petri dish, but I leave out the drug. If the bacteria grow in the second dish, I have proof that the drug was responsible for the lack of growth. If there is no growth in the second dish, I have evidence that something else interfered with the bacterial growth.

    Does that help?
    Thanks for your effort to make me (can I use it here?) understand it, Mike!
    It did help me a little to see the difference. I think I can understand it somewhere in my mind, but am not able to find an applicable Czech translation for it. I have tried to look it up in several dictionaries and it always "indicates" (it's not the right verb here, is it?) the Czech translation of both proof and evidence as "důkaz".

    I can understand the difference between them in the examples you gave me, but if I had to write my our sentences or had to complete an exercise with "proof/evidence", I am not that sure I wouldn't fail.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenka View Post
    Thanks for your effort to make me (can I use it here?) understand it, Mike!
    It did help me a little to see the difference. I think I can understand it somewhere in my mind, but am not able to find an applicable Czech translation for it. I have tried to look it up in several dictionaries and it always "indicates" (it's not the right verb here, is it?) the Czech translation of both proof and evidence as "důkaz".

    I can understand the difference between them in the examples you gave me, but if I had to write my our sentences or had to complete an exercise with "proof/evidence", I am not that sure I wouldn't fail.
    I understand. Just pay attention to how these words are used. Do you have access to Law and Order or CSI (television shows)? You will hear these words on every episode.

  7. Lenka's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I understand. Just pay attention to how these words are used. Do you have access to Law and Order or CSI (television shows)? You will hear these words on every episode.
    No, I don't... I don't know them at all.

    Anyway, I have too less time nowadays and have really no time to watch TV (I don't watch it too often and if I do watch it, then it's usually because I'm just eating... you know - I can't learn while eating :)), although it could help me improve my English...

  8. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    I understand. Just pay attention to how these words are used. Do you have access to Law and Order or CSI (television shows)? You will hear these words on every episode.
    That's asking a bit much Mike. We watch those shows, and my wife sometimes wants to watch with sub-titles (we're both native speakers); I just make do with understanding 70-80% of the dialogue and 30-40% of the plot.

    b

  9. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    That's asking a bit much Mike. We watch those shows, and my wife sometimes wants to watch with sub-titles (we're both native speakers); I just make do with understanding 70-80% of the dialogue and 30-40% of the plot.

    b
    Are you teasing me?

  10. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: evidence X proof

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Are you teasing me?

    OK - the percentages I gave were a bit low. But I seldom understand everything. It's fun trying though.

    b

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