Difference Wiki

Argue vs. Claim: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on November 11, 2023
To argue is to present reasons for or against something; to claim is to assert something as a fact.

Key Differences

To argue often means to engage in a discussion involving differing points of view, usually with the intention of persuading others to share one's perspective. Arguing typically involves presenting a sequence of statements intended to establish a proposition. It's not just about expressing a point of view but about substantiating it with evidence and reasoning. In contrast, to claim is to state something as a fact, often without providing evidence or support. A claim can be a starting point of an argument, but it doesn't involve the back-and-forth that arguing entails.
Arguing is a dynamic process that usually involves at least two parties. When people argue, they exchange ideas, debate facts, and challenge each other's reasoning in a discussion or dispute. Arguing is an active verb that describes the act of participating in a debate or dispute. To claim, however, is to assert ownership or to assert the truth of something often without immediate proof. Claims can be contested or accepted, but they do not in themselves involve the exchange that arguing does.
While arguing can be seen as a process or action, a claim is more of a statement or assertion. You argue a point, but you make a claim. For example, in a debate, a speaker might argue for the benefits of renewable energy, presenting evidence and crafting arguments that support this position. Another speaker might claim that renewable energy is the most cost-effective solution, a statement that they believe to be true, potentially without presenting the supporting evidence at that moment.
In academic writing, the distinction becomes clearer: arguments are complex structures of logic and evidence that support a thesis or idea, while claims are individual assertions that might support an argument. A well-constructed argument will include several claims, each supported by evidence. However, a claim might stand alone as an unsupported statement until it is elaborated upon with argumentation.
In the courtroom, these terms have specific connotations: lawyers argue cases, piecing together evidence and legal reasoning to convince the judge or jury, while they make claims about facts, laws, or rights they believe to be self-evident or provable. Each claim they make becomes a point of argument, where its validity is contested or supported through the legal process.

Comparison Chart


To present reasons for or against a point
To assert something as a fact


Involves a debate or dispute
Can be a standalone assertion


Usually supported by evidence
May not be immediately supported by evidence


To persuade or convince others
To state or assert ownership/truth

Grammatical Use

Often a verb
Can be a verb or a noun

Argue and Claim Definitions


To give reasons for or against something.
They argue that the new policy could harm the economy.


To assert something as a fact.
He claims that he saw a celebrity at the cafe.


To try to prove by reasoning.
She argued the solution’s merits to the committee.


To take as a rightful owner.
They claimed their luggage at the carousel.


To engage in a verbal dispute.
The siblings argue over trivial matters frequently.


To demand by or as by virtue of a right.
She claims her inheritance early.


To present a case in court.
The defense lawyer argued his client's innocence with passion.


To state without proof.
The author claims that the story is true.


To debate formally in a structured setting.
The senator will argue for the new health bill.


To assert ownership of something.
After the storm, many people claimed damages.


To put forth reasons for or against; debate
"It is time to stop arguing tax-rate reductions and to enact them" (Paul Craig Roberts).


To demand, ask for, or take as one's own or one's due
Claim a reward.
Claim one's luggage at the airport carousel.


To attempt to prove by reasoning; maintain or contend
The speaker argued that more immigrants should be admitted to the country.


To take in a violent manner as if by right
A hurricane that claimed two lives.


Can you argue without making a claim?

No, arguing typically involves making claims that you then support with evidence.

What does it mean to claim?

To claim means to assert something as true or to state ownership of something.

Can you claim without arguing?

Yes, you can make a claim without providing arguments or evidence to support it.

Is arguing always confrontational?

Not necessarily, arguing can be a constructive, reasoned debate about an issue.

How do you use argue in a sentence?

"The lawyer will argue the case before the jury tomorrow."

Do all arguments resolve in agreement?

Not all arguments lead to agreement; some may end with parties agreeing to disagree.

Is making a claim enough to convince others?

Simply making a claim is usually not enough; it often requires evidence to persuade others.

What does it mean to argue?

To argue means to present reasons or evidence to support or refute a position.

Can claims be challenged?

Yes, claims can and often should be challenged and scrutinized.

Are all claims subject to proof?

Claims should ideally be subject to proof, but not all are immediately provable.

Can you argue a fact?

You can argue about the interpretation of a fact, but not the fact itself.

How do you prove a claim?

You prove a claim by providing sufficient evidence and logical reasoning.

What is the difference between arguing and discussing?

Arguing typically involves opposing views, while discussing can be a neutral exchange of ideas.

Can a claim be an opinion?

Yes, a claim can be an opinion, but it should be distinguished from factual claims.

Why is it important to argue in science?

Arguing in science is essential for testing hypotheses and validating results.

Is a claim always true?

A claim is not necessarily true; its validity may need to be proven.

What makes a strong argument?

A strong argument is logically sound with clear, credible evidence.

What makes a strong claim?

A strong claim is clear, specific, and supported by solid evidence.

How do you use claim in a sentence?

"The scientist made a bold claim about the discovery."

Is it important to argue in essays?

Yes, arguing is crucial in essays to support the thesis with reasoning and evidence.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons