The verb assume is followed by a statement that may be true but has not been verified.
- For the sake of argument, let us assume that our budget will be increased by 10%.
- “Judging a book by its cover” means assuming that the contents are as interesting or as uninteresting as the book cover.
Presume is followed by what the subject believes to be true for want of proof to the contrary.
- I presume that Kevin and Katherina will marry in the fall, as indicated in their last e-mail.
- The director presumes that everyone will attend the symposium unless she hears otherwise.
- Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
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