When I saw my Dad’s shoes in the hallway, I inferred he had come home. When I greeted him, he replied with a grim movement of his hand which implied that he was in a foul mood.

The words imply and infer are two words often misunderstood by people. They are both verbs and are used to describe ways in which written and verbal information is understood. The word imply refers to hinting or saying something indirectly. While implying, we suggest that something is true (or is not true) by hinting and/or saying things related to that thing. To infer on the other hand, means to come to a conclusion about something based on some available data, information or facts. If you want to learn and understand the difference between these two words go through the content provided below.

Imply vs infer – definitions, uses and examples

Definition of imply

To imply simply means to say something indirectly. When our words and actions hint toward something, we are implying that thing. The word imply comes from the Latin word ’emplien’ which means ‘to enfold, to cover or to wrap something.’ Words synonymous with imply include hint, suggest etc. It is pronounced as ‘im-plai’ and the other verb forms of it include implies, implying and implied. The noun form of it is implication.

Example sentences of imply

  • Her silence during the meeting implied that she did not agree with what they were planning.

The word implied means portrayed here. The woman’s silence in the meeting depicted that she did not agree with what was being planned.

  • The king is beckoning to the new visitor; this implies that he wants to talk to him.

Through the gesture of his hands the king directed that he wanted the visitor to move closer and speak with him.

  • ‘UK has banned all Pakistanis from entering the country due to the increasing cases of corona virus which implies that we cannot go to UK for vacations this year,’ his sister stated politely.

This is the conversation between a person and his sister. The sister is saying that since the UK government has restricted Pakistanis from entering the country, they will not be able to enjoy their vacations there.

Definition of infer

Infer is a verb and is pronounced as ‘in-fur’. It means to come to a conclusion based on the information provided. We can also infer information through someone’s mood or behavior. When we see a person looking pale, we may infer that the person is sick. On the other hand, if we see a person smiling for no reason, we may infer that he’s daydreaming. The word infer comes from the Latin word ‘inferre’ which means to carry in. Words synonymous with infer include conclude, presume and, deduce. Other verb forms of it include inferring, infers and, inferred.

Example sentences of infer

  • Since the patient hadn’t talked or eaten since three days, the doctor inferred that he must have been going through severe depression.

In this case, the doctor could tell that his patient was depressed by observing his behavior. The patient hadn’t spoken or eaten since three days so he deduced that his patient was suffering from an extreme case of depression.

  • Since forty-three percent of global shoppers research products online via social networks, we can infer that marketing products through social platforms is an effective business.

This sentence gives great marketing advice. Forty-three percent of all online shoppers come through social media, thus marketing products there could be an effective strategy to increase sales.

  • From a research conducted in the USA, it was inferred that the number of people who are likely to shop online will increase between now and the next five years.

A research conducted in the USA came to this conclusion that more people will indulge in online shopping in the next five years. The corona outbreak is also one of the biggest reasons why online shopping is increasing.


We hope that we have been able to clarify the difference between the words imply and infer. Since both words are elements of communication, they are often used interchangeably. In order to avoid this mistake, you can take the example of a conversation. During a conversation, only the speaker can imply something, on the other hand, the reader can only infer using that information.