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In the following sentence, do I use 'assume' or 'presume'?
Your shoes were not on the shoe rack, so I ______ you have left.
Anonymous:I think 'presume' is more suitable for this sentence.
because although these two word all have the mean of accepting sth as true before there is proof,
'assume' has a meaning as pretend or display sth flasely,which is a little derogatory.
and 'presume' has another meaning as venture to do sth;be so bold as to do sth.
This sentence might be one of the speaker's appologize sentence,(maybe he/she mistakes someone has left)
It's just my own opinion.Maybe you can check it on some advanced dictionary.
To presume (according to www.m-w.com ) includes "to suppose to be true without proof" - and the lack of shoes were "proof" (even if it turned out to not be the right conclusion).
To assume (also according to www.m-w.com ) means "to take as granted or true."
The meaning of assume about pretending something is about an attitude you display, not a conclustioni that you have drawn.It gives the example of "assumed an air of confidence in spite of her dismay." In fact. www.m-w.com goes on to say this about assume: [it] often implies a justifiable motive rather than an intent to deceive - assumed an air of cheerfulness around the patients
You can make false assumptions, but that happens when you come to the wrong conclusion, not when you attempt to deceive.
Now, this is not an easy one:
synonyms PRESUME, ASSUME, POSTULATE, PREMISE, POSIT:
presuppose indicates a taking for granted of something as true or existent, ranging from hazy, casual, uncritical acceptance or belief to certainty through the requirements of logical causation <Puritanism presupposed an intelligent clergy capable of interpreting Scripture -- American Guide Series: Massachusetts> <culture, which exists only through man, who is also a social animal, presupposes society -- A.L.Kroeber>
PRESUME may imply that whatever is taken for granted is entitled to belief until disproved; broadly it may imply casual conjecture <everyone charged with a penal offense has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty -- U.N. Declaration of Human Rights> <nobody in Baskul had known much about him except that he had arrived from Persia, where it was presumed he had something to do with oil -- James Hilton>
ASSUME indicates arbitrary or deliberate acceptance of something not proved or demonstrated or susceptible of being proved or demonstrated, or acceptance in accord with what evidence is available <there are many laws at present which are inequitable, because, for example, they assume a freedom of choice on the part of one party which under existing social circumstances is not there -- Norbert Wiener> <if we take the witness at his word and assume that he has this fear -- B.N.Meltzer>
I think we have
acceptance in accord with what evidence is available (Your shoes were not on the shoe rack)
thus assume, here.
I assumed he was Dr. Livingstone and called headquarters to say I had found him, without even asking him.
(basically what Marius says)
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