# Suppose vs. Assume: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on October 4, 2023
Suppose often implies considering a hypothetical situation or making a guess, while Assume involves taking something for granted without verification.

## Key Differences

Suppose and Assume, while sometimes used interchangeably, have nuanced differences in meaning. "Suppose" often relates to a hypothetical situation or a form of guessing. For example, when we say, "Suppose it rains tomorrow," we're entertaining a potential scenario. On the other hand, "Assume" generally means to accept something as true without concrete evidence.
In another context, to "Suppose" is to think or believe something, often with a degree of uncertainty. For instance, "I suppose she'll be there" indicates a belief but not complete assurance. "Assume," conversely, leans towards accepting a fact or taking something for granted without seeking validation. It embodies a certain confidence, as in "I assume he has done his homework."
Furthermore, "Suppose" can be a prompt or invitation for someone to consider a scenario or proposition. "Suppose you win the lottery; what would you do?" Here, the speaker asks the listener to imagine a situation. Conversely, "Assume" can signify an underlying premise or foundation for a statement. If one says, "Assuming you're free, we can meet at 5," the plan is based on an assumption.
Lastly, both words play pivotal roles in logical reasoning and arguments. In logic, to "Suppose" can set up a premise for exploration, whereas to "Assume" can denote an accepted premise on which an argument is built.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

To consider or entertain as a possibility
To accept as true without evidence

### Usage in Hypotheticals

Often used to suggest scenarios
Less common in hypotheticals

### Degree of Certainty

Contains an element of uncertainty
Indicates more confidence

### Contextual Usage

More for conjecture or speculations
Used when taking something for granted

### Role in Logic

Sets a premise for exploration
Denotes an accepted premise for arguments

## Suppose and Assume Definitions

#### Suppose

To consider a situation as a possibility.
Suppose we miss the train, what then?

#### Assume

To adopt a role or responsibility.
He assumed the role of team leader.

#### Suppose

To put forward as a suggestion.
Suppose we take a different route.

#### Assume

To be accepted as true without proof.
It is assumed that the earth orbits the sun.

#### Suppose

To require or demand.
The rules suppose adherence by all players.

#### Assume

To take for granted; suppose
The study assumes that prices will rise.

#### Suppose

To introduce a hypothetical situation.
Suppose you were given a chance to start over?

#### Assume

To take upon oneself (a duty or obligation)
Assume responsibility.
Assume another's debts.

#### Suppose

To think or believe something to be true or probable.
I suppose she's telling the truth.

#### Assume

To undertake the duties of (an office)
Assumed the presidency.

#### Suppose

To assume to be true or real for the sake of argument or explanation
Suppose we win the lottery.

#### Assume

To take on (an appearance, role, or form, for example); adopt
"The god assumes a human form" (John Ruskin).

#### Suppose

To believe, especially on uncertain or tentative grounds
Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps.

#### Assume

To pretend to have; feign
Assume an air of authority.

#### Suppose

To consider to be probable or likely
I suppose it will rain.

#### Assume

To take over without justification; seize
Assume control.

#### Suppose

To imply as an antecedent condition; presuppose
"Patience must suppose pain" (Samuel Johnson).

#### Assume

To clothe oneself in; don
The queen assumed a velvet robe.

#### Suppose

To consider as a suggestion
Suppose we dine together.

#### Assume

To take up or receive into heaven.

#### Suppose

To imagine; conjecture.

#### Assume

To make a supposition; suppose or believe
"Is Kay's husband coming to dinner too?" "I assume so.".

#### Suppose

(transitive) To take for granted; to conclude, with less than absolute supporting data; to believe.
I suppose we all agree that this is the best solution.

#### Assume

To authenticate by means of belief; to surmise; to suppose to be true, especially without proof
We assume that, as her parents were dentists, she knows quite a bit about dentistry.

#### Suppose

(transitive) To theorize or hypothesize.
Suppose that A implies B and B implies C. Then A implies C.

#### Assume

To take on a position, duty or form
Mr. Jones will assume the position of a lifeguard until a proper replacement is found.

#### Suppose

(transitive) To imagine; to believe; to receive as true.

#### Assume

To adopt a feigned quality or manner; to claim without right; to arrogate
He assumed an air of indifference

#### Suppose

To reckon to be, to account or esteem as.

#### Suppose

(transitive) To require to exist or to be true; to imply by the laws of thought or of nature.
Purpose supposes foresight.

#### Assume

To adopt (an idea or cause)

#### Suppose

(transitive) To put by fraud in the place of another.

#### Assume

To take to or upon one's self; to take formally and demonstratively; sometimes, to appropriate or take unjustly.
Trembling they stand while Jove assumes the throne.
The god assumed his native form again.

#### Suppose

To represent to one's self, or state to another, not as true or real, but as if so, and with a view to some consequence or application which the reality would involve or admit of; to imagine or admit to exist, for the sake of argument or illustration; to assume to be true; as, let us suppose the earth to be the center of the system, what would be the result?
Suppose they take offence without a cause.
When we have as great assurance that a thing is, as we could possibly, supposing it were, we ought not to make any doubt of its existence.

#### Assume

To take for granted, or without proof; to suppose as a fact; to suppose or take arbitrarily or tentatively.
The consequences of assumed principles.

#### Suppose

To imagine; to believe; to receive as true.
How easy is a bush supposed a bear!
Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men, the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead.

#### Assume

To pretend to possess; to take in appearance.
Ambition assuming the mask of religion.
Assume a virtue, if you have it not.

#### Suppose

To require to exist or to be true; to imply by the laws of thought or of nature; as, purpose supposes foresight.
One falsehood always supposes another, and renders all you can say suspected.

#### Assume

The sixth was a young knight of lesser renown and lower rank, assumed into that honorable company.

#### Suppose

To put by fraud in the place of another.

#### Assume

To be arrogant or pretentious; to claim more than is due.

#### Suppose

To make supposition; to think; to be of opinion.

#### Assume

To undertake, as by a promise.

Supposition.

#### Assume

Take to be the case or to be true; accept without verification or proof;
I assume his train was late

#### Suppose

Express a supposition;
Let us say that he did not tell the truth
Let's say you had a lot of money--what would you do?

#### Assume

Take on titles, offices, duties, responsibilities;
When will the new President assume office?

#### Suppose

Expect, believe, or suppose;
I imagine she earned a lot of money with her new novel
I thought to find her in a bad state
He didn't think to find her in the kitchen
I guess she is angry at me for standing her up

#### Assume

Take on a certain form, attribute, or aspect;
His voice took on a sad tone
The story took a new turn
He adopted an air of superiority
She assumed strange manners
The gods assume human or animal form in these fables

#### Suppose

To believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds;
Scientists supposed that large dinosaurs lived in swamps

#### Assume

Take on as one's own the expenses or debts of another person;
I'll accept the charges
She agreed to bear the responsibility

#### Suppose

Take for granted or as a given; suppose beforehand;
I presuppose that you have done your work

#### Assume

Occupy or take on;
He assumes the lotus position
She took her seat on the stage
We took our seats in the orchestra
She took up her position behind the tree
Strike a pose

#### Suppose

Require as a necessary antecedent or precondition;
This step presupposes two prior ones

#### Assume

Seize and take control without authority and possibly with force; take as one's right or possession;
He assumed to himself the right to fill all positions in the town
He usurped my rights
She seized control of the throne after her husband died

#### Assume

Make a pretence of;
She assumed indifference, even though she was seething with anger
He feigned sleep

#### Assume

Christianity, obsolete; take up someone's soul into heaven;
This is the day when May was assumed into heaven

#### Assume

Put clothing on one's body;
What should I wear today?
He put on his best suit for the wedding
The princess donned a long blue dress
The queen assumed the stately robes
He got into his jeans

#### Assume

To take for granted without verification.
She assumes everyone will attend the meeting.

#### Assume

To take on or wear (usually an expression or emotion).
She assumed a look of surprise.

#### Assume

To adopt a certain posture or form.
The shape assumed a familiar pattern.

## FAQs

#### Is "Suppose" more uncertain than "Assume"?

Generally, yes. "Suppose" often implies a degree of speculation.

#### What does "Suppose" mean in general?

To consider, believe, or introduce a hypothetical situation.

#### How is "Assume" commonly defined?

To accept something as true without evidence or verification.

#### Can "Suppose" and "Assume" be used interchangeably?

Sometimes, but they have nuanced differences in meaning and usage.

#### When should I use "Suppose" over "Assume"?

Use "Suppose" when considering a hypothetical or making a guess.

#### In what context is "Assume" most appropriate?

When accepting something as true without seeking further proof.

#### Can "Assume" mean to take on responsibilities?

Yes, like when someone assumes a new role at work.

#### Is "Suppose" always about the future?

No, it can refer to any time frame but often implies a hypothetical.

#### What's a common mistake people make with "Assume"?

Taking something for granted without verifying its truth.

#### Does "Suppose" always indicate doubt?

No, but it often carries an element of uncertainty.

#### Is "Assume" always about taking things for granted?

Mostly, but it can also mean adopting a role or responsibility.

#### What's the difference in their roles in logical arguments?

"Suppose" sets a premise for exploration; "Assume" denotes an accepted premise.

Yes, as in "She assumed a confident stance."

#### How do I know when to use "Suppose" in a sentence?

When suggesting a scenario or when there's an element of uncertainty.

#### Does "Suppose" always require a response or action?

Not necessarily, though it often invites one to consider a scenario.