Do I assume or presume?


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 5, 2005
OK. Simple question. What's the difference between "assume" and "presume" - is there some fundamental difference? Can somebody put them into context for me?!

I've always wondered...I mean:

"I assume you are still hungry"


"I Presume you are still hungry"

Are they both correct? Neither? Just one? IT'S SO ANNOYING! (I obsess a little too easily...:eek:)

Thanks for any help.



macrumors 604
Sep 11, 2004
Canberra, Australia
Well according to my dashboard dictionary widget; to assume something is to suppose it is the case without proof. To presume on the other hand is to suppose something is the case on the basis of a probability.

Essentially they are the same and can be used as synonyms. I doubt anyone will ever pick you up on it.


macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2003
Agreed with Max. I can understand why you'd want to know (i was curious too) but yeah, no one's gonna really call you on using either one (and if they do shake their hand).


macrumors 6502
Aug 30, 2004
seeing as Assume is the first synonym listed in the thesaurus for Presume, i think you're good either way.


macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
i'll chime in and say that there is a difference, and their usage depends upon context.

Assumptions are taking something for granted with no basis.
Presumtions are guessing at something that has a good chance of being correct.

i would assume that the MacBook will have similar specs as the Mac Mini.
i would presume that MacBook will be the name given to the current iBook line.

in example one there really is no basis as to why the MacBook would have similar specs as the Mac Mini, just because they are the lowerend machines doesn't mean anything as they are two different groups (Desktop vs Portable)

in the second example the reasoning that the MacBook will be the name for the current iBook name works given the fact that we know that the word Mac is going ot be used in the name and tha the powerbooks are called MacBook Pros.

in the end though, it usually won't matter which you choose as most people won't be an English nazi like me... nor have a degree in English like me, which gets me going on tangents such as this.