Imply vs. Infer

12.04.17 English Tips

**Note: This tip is especially useful for language learners preparing to take a proficiency test. Many questions in the TOEIC and TOEFL require students to understand these words.

These two words are too often used interchangeably, but they are completely different in meaning.

“Imply” means to suggest or to indicate.
Example: Water droplets accumulating on the outside of a cold glass of water can imply a hot humid day.

“Infer” involves a person actively thinking about the information and drawing a conclusion.
Example: From the pyramids, we can infer that the ancient Egyptians were skilled builders.

To think of it another way, we can substitute “suggest” for “imply” and “reason” for “infer,” still retaining the correct meaning.




 Imply は、「暗示する」、もしくは「示す」を意味します。例:冷たい水が入ったグラスの外側につく水滴は、高温多湿であることを示しています。

 “Infer” は、その結論が熟考の上、導き出されたというニュアンスを持ちます。例:そのピラミッドを見るに、古代エジプト人は熟練した建築者だったと推論することができます。

 “imply” の代わりに “suggest” 、“infer” の代わりに “reason” を使うこともできます。