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Hi to all!

I have just discovered this forum, and I am glad that I did since I am a non-native English speaker who needs to speak and write in english most of the time.
Well, here is the story: a few weeks ago, one of my letter was published in a famous financial newspaper. They edited my letter to correct a few of my mistakes, but I was a bit surprised at one such correction. After quoting the columnist my letter was answering to, I wrote: "Indeed. However, it does not entail that it is true." They replaced "entail" by "follow" which I can understand, but I thought that "entail" was correct in this situation as well.
So, are entail and imply interchangeable, or is there some subtle difference I am missing? And what about follow?
To my understanding, entail might be used in a more diverse situations than imply (like to mean "involve"), but they are still more or less synonyms.
Am I wrong to believe this?

Any remarks/examples welcome!

Thanks ;-)
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Hi,
Welcome to the Forum.
I have just discovered this forum, and I am glad that I did since I am a non-native English speaker who needs to speak and write in english most of the time.
Well, here is the story: a few weeks ago, one of my letter was published in a famous financial newspaper. They edited my letter to correct a few of my mistakes, but I was a bit surprised at one such correction. After quoting the columnist my letter was answering to, I wrote: "Indeed. However, it does not entail that it is true." They replaced "entail" by "follow" which I can understand, but I thought that "entail" was correct in this situation as well. No.
So, are entail and imply interchangeable, or is there some subtle difference I am missing? And what about follow?
To my understanding, entail might be used in a more diverse situations than imply (like to mean "involve"), but they are still more or less synonyms.
Am I wrong to believe this? Yes.

Any remarks/examples welcome!

When I look at the various dictionary definitions of these 3 words, I can see how it seems confusing to you.
I feel that it's a matter of looking past the rather abstract dictionary definition to consider actual usage.

Let me explain how 'entail' is usually used.
entail = involve unavoidably, have as a necessary accompaniment
eg this project will entail a lot of work
eg visiting my friend entails a 2-hour trip by bus
eg my new job entails a lot of telephone work

It doesn't sound at all natural or meaningful to say 'Something entails that something else is true'.
However, it does sound natural to say 'Something implies that something else is true'. (ie strongly suggests or even requires).
Or 'It follows that something is true'. (ie is necessarily true as a result of something else).

Best wishes, Clive
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My suggestion would be to NOT use a philosophy forum as a source for information on how to write for a general audience.

Be guided by Clive's post about what sounds natural, because that will apply to about 99% of the writing applications we'll face in our lives.

If the refrigerator was empty this morning and it is full now, it suggests/implies that you went to the store.

Making this complex recipe for an exotic dish entailed/required a trip to three different stores to get the ingredients. (I don't think, in more than 25 years of writing for a living, I've used the word entail more than a very few times.)
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Comments  
Hello,

thank you for this answer! It is a bit clearer in my mind now.

However, I stumbled on this topic:

http://forums.philosophyforums.com/threads/imply-vs-entail-32125.html

and I think I am a bit messed up again...
 BarbaraPA's reply was promoted to an answer.
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