Misused Words

Imply and Infer

Imply, a verb, means to suggest.

The instructor implied that his students lacked a work ethic.

Infer, a verb, means to conclude.

The students inferred from the instructor's comments that they were not studious.

Hint: The speaker implies and the listener infers. The listener draws conclusions from what the speaker says.

Practice

Choose the correct answer for each of the two practice sentences below by clicking on the correct answer.

(1) From the customer's comments, the salesman (implied, inferred) that he was no longer interested in purchasing the car.

(2) The customer (implied, inferred) that he had changed his mind about purchasing the car.

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