blog home

Commonly Confused Words: Assume vs. Presume


Although this week's pair of words have slightly different meanings, many people use them interchangebly. Scroll down to find out more.

What does each word mean?

If you assume something, you suppose it to be true without having proof or you take control of it. 

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is assume used in some example sentences:

  •  He’d always assumed her hair was naturally blonde.
  • You shouldn’t assume you will enjoy a book just because you like the cover.
  • The supply teacher assumed responsibility of the classroom.

Here are all the Spellzone study lists related to the word assume.

If you presume something, you suppose it to be true based on probability. 

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is presume used in some example sentences:

  • The missing soldier was presumed dead.
  • Based on her condition, doctors presumed she would be unable to conceive.

Here are all the Spellzone study lists related to the word presume.

Where does each word come from? 

Assume has been used in English since the early fifteenth century to mean ‘take upon oneself’. It comes from the Latin ‘asuumere’, from ‘adsumere’. The word was not used to mean ‘suppose without proof’ until the late sixteenth century.  

Presume dates to the late fourteenth century and comes from the Old French ‘presumer’, from the Latin ‘praesumere’ meaning ‘anticipate’. 

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between assume and presume?

  • One of our eight tips for creating mnemonics is that the ruder a mnemonic is, the more likely you are to remember it. Remember how to spell assume using the phrase: ‘To ASSUME makes an A** of U and ME.
  • Both presume and probably start with the letter p. You presume something that is probably going to happen.

If you found this post useful, you may also like…


 


15 Jul 2019
blog home

Sign up to remove this advert

"This is a fantastic opportunity for our students!  I'm sure Spellzone will be invaluable in helping them to improve their spellings and therefore improve the quality of their writing in all subject areas!"

Teacher, High School, UK