What is the difference between 'assume' and 'presume'?

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asked May 24 '11 at 16:10 coraliecinq New member

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Assume is when you think something without proof or evidence.

 

"I assumed that he would pay for dinner."

 

Presume is when you form an opinion based on probability.

 

"He asked me to dinner, so I presume he'll offer to pay."

 

NOTE: In practice people use these like synonyms.

link answered May 25 '11 at 16:39 Kimberly Expert

Thank you Kimberly for your help in the difference between presume & assume. It really helped me with my grammar assignments. :)

regardsManoj(Kerala, India)

ManojMay 01 '12 at 14:31

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In general I agree with Kimberly, but I think it would be more accurate to say that one presumes when one makes an assumption that one believes is justified. One may believe an assumption to be justified even if it is improbable. The reason is that belief is subjective. It may be based on feelings, intuition, or one's subjective understanding of how the world works (which may or may not accord with how the world really works). Probability, on the other hand, is objective. It is based on observable evidence. Very few, if any of us, limit our beliefs to what can be established as probable.

 

-- Arthur (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

link comment answered Jul 08 '13 at 19:08 Arthur Menu New member

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