Difference Wiki

Entailment vs. Presupposition: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 12, 2024
Entailment is a logical relationship where the truth of one statement necessitates the truth of another, while presupposition implies assumptions embedded in a statement that are taken for granted.

Key Differences

Entailment in linguistics refers to a situation where one statement (the entailed) is necessarily true if another statement (the entailer) is true. Conversely, presupposition involves underlying assumptions that a speaker believes are known or accepted by the listener, and these assumptions are inherent in the statement.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024
In entailment, the focus is on the logical connection between two propositions. For instance, if "All birds can fly" is true, it entails "Sparrows can fly". Presupposition, however, deals with what is implicitly assumed rather than explicitly stated, like in the statement "The king of France is bald," which presupposes that there is a king of France.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024
Entailments are binary; they are either true or false. If the entailing statement is true, so is the entailed one. In contrast, presuppositions are not about truth values but about the speaker's beliefs or assumptions, which might not necessarily be true or can even be contextually sensitive.
Huma Saeed
Jan 12, 2024
Entailment is a concept closely tied to the truth conditions of statements. If a statement's truth logically leads to another statement being true, entailment is present. Presupposition, however, is more about the pragmatic aspects of language, focusing on what is assumed to be the common ground between the speaker and listener.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024
Entailment can be negated, which in turn negates the truth of the entailed statement. For instance, negating "All birds can fly" makes "Sparrows can fly" untrue. In presupposition, negating the original statement doesn't affect the presupposed content. For example, negating "The king of France is bald" doesn't negate the presupposition that there is a king of France.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Nature

Logical implication
Implicit assumption
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Dependence on Truth

Requires truth of another statement
Independent of the truth of the statement
Huma Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Alteration by Negation

Negation changes entailment
Presupposition remains upon negation
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Focus

On the content's truth conditions
On assumed background knowledge
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

Applicability

Binary (true or false)
Contextual and subjective
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024
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Entailment and Presupposition Definitions

Entailment

Inference where one statement's truth logically concludes another's truth.
All roses are flowers entails This rose is a flower.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Presupposition

Underlying assumption that is accepted as a given in communication.
His brother is an artist presupposes He has a brother.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 11, 2023

Entailment

A condition where the validity of one statement necessitates another's validity.
The dog is a poodle entails The dog is a mammal.
Janet White
Dec 11, 2023

Presupposition

Inherent assumption embedded within a linguistic expression.
Do you want tea or coffee? presupposes You want a beverage.
Janet White
Dec 11, 2023

Entailment

Logical necessity where one statement implies the truth of another.
She is a mother entails She has children.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Presupposition

Implicitly assumed or understood element within a statement.
Jane stopped smoking presupposes Jane used to smoke.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Entailment

Relationship where truth of one proposition guarantees truth of another.
He is a bachelor entails He is not married.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Presupposition

Background assumption implied by a statement's context.
Her wedding was beautiful presupposes She is married.
Huma Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Entailment

Propositional relationship where one assertion mandates the truth of another.
It is raining entails There are clouds in the sky.
Harlon Moss
Dec 11, 2023

Presupposition

Unstated assumption taken for granted in a statement.
The CEO resigned presupposes There was a CEO.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 11, 2023

Entailment

To have, impose, or require as a necessary accompaniment or consequence
The investment entailed a high risk. The proposition X is a rose entails the proposition X is a flower because all roses are flowers.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

To believe or suppose in advance
"In passing moral judgments ... we presuppose that a man's actions, and hence also his being a good or a bad man, are in his power" (Leo Strauss).
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

To require or involve necessarily as an antecedent condition
"The term tax relief ... presupposes a conceptual metaphor.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

An assumption made beforehand; a preliminary conjecture or speculation.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

The act of presupposing.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

(linguistics) An assumption or belief implicit in an utterance or other use of language.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

The act of presupposing; an antecedent implication; presumption.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

That which is presupposed; a previous supposition or surmise.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

Presupposition

The act of presupposing; a supposition made prior to having knowledge (as for the purpose of argument)
Sumera Saeed
Dec 08, 2023

FAQs

Is entailment about truth conditions?

Yes, entailment focuses on the truth conditions of statements.
Harlon Moss
Jan 12, 2024

What is presupposition?

Presupposition involves underlying assumptions in a statement taken for granted.
Harlon Moss
Jan 12, 2024

Does negating a statement change its presupposition?

No, negating a statement doesn't typically change its presuppositions.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

What is an example of entailment?

"She is a doctor" entails "She has a medical degree."
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Can a false statement entail a true one?

No, if a statement is false, it can't entail a true statement.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

How is entailment different from presupposition?

Entailment is about logical implication, while presupposition is about implicit assumptions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

What is entailment in language?

Entailment is when the truth of one statement necessitates the truth of another.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Can entailment be negated?

Yes, negating the main statement negates the entailment.
Huma Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Can presuppositions be false?

Yes, presuppositions can be false or questionable.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024

What is an example of presupposition?

"The king of France is wise" presupposes there is a king of France.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Is presupposition a matter of language or thought?

It's primarily a linguistic concept but also relates to thought processes.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

Can a statement have both entailment and presupposition?

Yes, a statement can have both elements.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

Are presuppositions always conscious?

No, speakers may not always be aware of their presuppositions.
Harlon Moss
Jan 12, 2024

Is presupposition always related to the main subject of a sentence?

Not necessarily, it can relate to any part of the sentence's context.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Can entailment exist in questions?

Typically, entailment is found in declarative statements, not questions.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 12, 2024

Can multiple entailments come from one statement?

Yes, a single statement can entail multiple others.
Harlon Moss
Jan 12, 2024

Are presuppositions always explicit?

No, presuppositions are often implicit.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Does context affect presupposition?

Yes, context can significantly influence presuppositions.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Is presupposition dependent on the truth of a statement?

No, presuppositions are independent of the statement's truth.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Can entailment be about probability?

No, entailment is about certainty, not probability.
Janet White
Jan 12, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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