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Deduce Vs. Infer, When To Use Each One In Writing

Deduce Vs. Infer, When To Use Each One In Writing

To reason is using logic to search for the truth, concluding from the information received. It involves the mind and some processes of it.

“To infer” is determined by reasoning to reach a conclusion based on evidence (inference).” To deduce” is a form of inference. Both terms are often used as synonyms.

Logic studies how humans can reason to produce valid conclusions. In other words, how we work internally to come up with answers.

Origin Of Both Terms

The term “deduce” was first used around the 1500s. It means to conclude from information known or assumed; It comes from the Latin “dēdūcere,” which means “to lead down.”

Alternatively, the term “infer” was first used around the same time as “deduce.” It means to draw conclusions from evidence. It comes from the Latin “inferre,” meaning “to bring, carry, or bear.” As we can see, both terms come from the same time period. In some definitions, there is no distinction; they simply use different words to describe them.

To fully understand the difference, both the root word and the root language need to be examined. We have to understand the origins and definitions of both words. I’m going to mention a couple of other definitions of both terms so you can see how similar they are. In addition, I will address reason and logic.


Different Definitions Of “Deduce” And “Infer.”


  • As a verb, it means to conclude by using rules of logic.
  • To find an answer by reasoning.
  • To get an answer by thinking about a common truth and its relation to a specific situation.


  • As a verb, it means giving a reasoned conclusion based on the information you have. It is the step in reasoning that looks for conclusions based on the information provided.

A Little Bit Of Reasoning


As I mentioned before, reason is the ability to consciously use logic to conclude from existing or new information to find the truth. It is usually considered to be a particular ability possessed by us humans.

Reasoning is connected to thinking and involves using intelligence. Logic studies how humans can use reason to create rational and valid arguments. It is divided into:

  • Deductive reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Abductive reasoning

Depending on the settings, social or political, some modes of reasoning contradict each other. Alternatively, others can complement each other. For example, in math, intuition is used in the creative process of arriving at confirmed events. Reasoning is in charge of how thinking works when jumping from one idea to another.

Cognitive experts and Psychologists have tried to investigate and explain how people reason. For example, how our inferences are affected by culture and which mental processes are involved. Additionally, automated reasoning examines the probability of modeling reasoning by computers. Finally, animal psychologists study whether animals can reason like humans.

There are different approaches to “reasoning” that were analyzed a couple of centuries ago. It seems like a long time ago, but thanks to those efforts, we now have a better understanding of how we process information in this day and age. One of the characters that contributed to that was Charles Sanders Peirce.

Charles Sanders Peirce is a famous, advanced American Philosopher well known for his works on Deductive, Inductive, and Abductive Reasoning, which is a type of logical inference. His work dates back to the nineteenth century.

Abductive reasoning is based on observing the situation and formulating the most accurate conclusion based on those observations. For example, a ping pong ball is coming our way, so we abduce it was hit by a racquet. There are other possible explanations for why the ball is coming towards us. But our abduction does not lead to a certainty that a racquet hit the ball. So it does not confirm our hypothesis.

This process suggests a conclusion or solution but does not contemplate verifying it. This means that those conclusions have traces of uncertainty or doubt and are expressed using terms like “best available.” In other words, it is the best explanation.

Abductive validation

Abductive validation is confirming the process of a hypothesis that was a result of abductive reasoning. Thus, it can also be referred to as “reasoning through successive approximation.” Following this principle, a valid explanation is the answer according to the data available. It is also the most straightforward explanation out of all of them. Abductive validation is widespread in science. It is used to form a Hypothesis. Peirce said that it is a universal form of thought.

Deductive reasoning derives the results of the conclusion assumed. To put it simply, since the suppositions are true, then the deduced result is guaranteed to be the truth. For example, since all musicians have an excellent musical ear and a guitarist is a musician, then they have a perfect musical ear.

Inductive reasoning allows inferring due to our knowledge of a particular situation, which means that we have good reason to believe it. However, it cannot be guaranteed. For example, if all dogs that we see from a distance are white, we may infer that the expression all dogs are white is reasonable.

How People Use The Terms


Most people use both terms as synonyms, along with the term “imply.” Let me show you the synonyms and antonyms of each word to get an idea of how to use them better.

Deduce synonyms: Gather, conclude, infer, reason, surmise, reason out, understand, deduct, derive, extrapolate, elicit, suppose, reckon, assume, conjecture, judge, presume, imagine, consider, figure, decide, conceive, construe, draw, comprehend, collect, draw the inference, come to a conclusion, add up, come to understand, draw a conclusion.

Deduce antonyms: disbelieve, contraindication, indication, destroy, disperse, disregard, distribute, divide, ignore, induce, leave, misunderstand, reject, scatter, not believe, neglect, forget, misconceive, calculate, miss, guess, fail, wonder, question, be certain, estimate, dismiss, doubt, distrust, hesitate, deny, stop, prove, be sure, overlook, unsettle, have information, confuse, have knowledge.

Infer Synonyms: understand, reason, gather, deduce, assume, presume, suppose, presuppose, judge, conclude, decide, derive, extrapolate, make out, understand.

Infer Antonyms: Scatter, neglect, misunderstand, divide, distribute, disperse, disbelieve, abstain.

Examples Of The Terms

In many cases, these terms are used within the same context or to convey a similar message. As a result, you’ll find plenty of similarities between the examples below.

  • We inferred his happiness from the volume of his voice and the size of his smile.
  • What do you infer from his approval? Do you think he was forced to?
  • We inferred from his words that he wanted to stay a little longer.
  • Based on what they said in the email, she inferred that they were not interested in a business relationship.
  • The pointed-out elements in every representation that are not obtained by decoding the message are inferred.
  • The termination of the signals can be inferred because the blocking stays active for the whole day.
  • I spoke to him five days ago, and he was joking and laughing about everything. I can deduce from this that everything was resolved in a friendly matter.
  • I deduce that someone is angry at me if I see them coming towards me with an angry face saying angry words. Still, it isn’t easy to deduce the reason at that moment unless I ask and get an answer.
  • Therefore liberals infer that a challenge to the state is vital and society can be transformed. But we don’t know the time that it will take.
  • Despite several clues, there’s no way to infer the thief’s identity. There were no cameras on site.
  • My dad has been in the hospital for two weeks. There is no way we can deduce that he’s to blame.
  • It is definitely unfair and closed-minded to deduce that he is the wrong person, will treat her like a toy, and doesn’t deserve her just because he got in the car and didn’t open her door.
  • He deduced quickly that the treasure map was on the back of the Declaration of Independence, marked with invisible ink.
  • The strategy demanded full attention and identified the clues to deduce where enemies of the state planted the atom bomb before it went off.
  • This report is incomplete and lacks formality. I hope they can deduce that before they send it to higher executives. It won’t be good if they don’t.
  • Suppose we try to understand better how the mechanism works. In that case, we can better deduce the outcome of the results before they happen.
  • After reading and interpreting all the signs, he could deduce that both parties worked together and not against each other as advertised.
  • Working all those numbers together in such a short amount of time makes me deduce his ability to work all our numbers in the central system.


It can be confusing reading about logic, reason, and all the information that comes along. The words aren’t exactly the same, but when it comes to just using them for common writing or communication, both are similar and can be used as synonyms.

Suppose you take part in a more in-depth conversation about what has been discussed in this article. In that case, it is ok to use “deduce” as a part of “infer.” According to Charles Sanders Peirce, it is essential to remember that “infer” is more extensive and can be categorized as deduction, induction, or abduction. Therefore, if you see someone speaking about reason, you can infer that person is knowledgeable about the subject. If you hear them mentioning authors, experiments, and more information, you can deduce they are an expert on the subject.