infer

verb

  • General legal English
  • Procedural Law and Evidence
  • Criminal Law

Definitions of infer

  • to understand something by evidence or logical reasoning rather than from explicit statements

    He could only infer that the chemicals found in the storage locker were the same as those used to make the bomb.

Phrase Bank for infer

  • One cannot directly infer one from the other.

  • What did the question infer?

  • We can infer that the Act performs the same function by banning the government from using such standards.

  • Courts may infer that the agency possesses the discretion to determine which rules apply.

  • The court could infer that the evidence was untrue.

  • It may be inferred from what the judge said that the Crown was prepared to accept a plea of guilty to manslaughter.

Common Mistakes for infer

  • 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. For example: When the managing director 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. For example: 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.

Transcript

Hi, I’m Peter and welcome to TransLegal’s lesson of the week. Today I’m going to be talking about infer versus imply. The verbs infer and imply are often confused. The important distinction is when a writer or a speaker implies something it means that it’s indicated or suggested without being explicitly, expressly or clearly stated. In other words, it’s indirect. For example, “Are you implying that my client is dishonest?” or “The text implies that each house must take its decisions by majority vote”. Conversely, a reader or listener infers or you can also say draws an inference, by drawing conclusions based on evidence or logical reasoning rather than from express statements or explicit statements. So some examples of the use of infer are: “What did the question infer?” and “One cannot directly infer one from the other”. A synonym that you can use or a synonymous phrase which you can use when referring to infer is to “read between the lines”. You can learn more about both of these terms in TransLegal’s dictionary. There you will find other sample sentences and common mistakes as well. That’s it for today though. If you have any questions or comments, as usual, please leave them in the comment box below and myself or one of my colleagues will get back to you as soon as we can. Thanks.