Infer vs. Imply

The terms infer and imply are often confused. A writer or speaker implies something, meaning that it is indicated or suggested without being explicitly stated:
When the CEO stated that the company would not rule out paying a dividend to shareholders this year, she implied that a dividend may be paid.

Conversely, a reader or listener infers (or draws an inference) from something by drawing conclusions that are not explicit in what is said:
When the CEO stated that she would not rule out paying a dividend to shareholders this year, the shareholders inferred that the board of directors had recently rethought the issue of dividend payments, since they were not in favour of a payment a month ago.

Gregory M. Poehler, B.A., J.D. Born: Boston, MA (USA). Admitted to the New York and Massachusetts Bars and the United States Federal Courts for the Southern District of New York and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. Practiced in two large law firms in New York City with a specialization in intellectual property law, including trademark, copyright and patent litigation and domain name dispute resolution. Masters in European Intellectual Property Law, Stockholm University (2006). LANGUAGES: ENGLISH, SWEDISH