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



asked May 24 '11 at 16:10 coraliecinq Contributor

5 answers


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

I've been taught that presume is a premise that is true unless proven otherwise. For example: To presume innocent until proven guilty. Assume is when a premise is formed without evidence. For example: He was there; I assumed he was guilty.

link comment answered Jul 29 '14 at 23:44 talea New member

To add a bit of Humour I was allways told 'Never to Assume' because Assume makes an ASS-outof U and -ME ;-)

link comment answered Feb 27 at 23:41 Paul Butt New member

You are debating the human condition... with who, Arthur?  coraliecinq, next time do not rely on these places for a definition.  If you wish to drink clean water take from the source.

link comment answered Jul 21 '14 at 02:41 evevoix New member

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