Difference Between Inference and Prediction

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Inference and Prediction

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Inference and prediction refer to a conclusion made based on data, facts, or evidence. Prediction is more commonly used than the former. This is due to the way that these words are used in sentences.

Prediction vs. Inference

There is a major difference between inference and prediction. 'Inference' refers to when an act is done to reach a conclusion based on evidence and facts. 'Prediction' is a definitive statement about a future event.

Although a prediction can be based on statistics and models, it is more common to estimate them. This is why the term is more commonly used in casual conversation.

What is the difference between prediction and inference? Both terms refer to the conclusion based on facts, observations, or experience. The difference is in how one word is used in different situations.

"Inference" is a noun. It refers to the act or process of concluding facts or evidence. A verbal statement can be an inference, but it is more often a thought process. It would be reasonable to infer that it is cold outside since everyone I see wears a jacket. Inferences are usually made about something with some degree of certainty based on statistics, calculations, observations, or generalizations. "Infer" is the verb form for "inference," which has the same meaning. It allows you to form an opinion or draw conclusions based on facts. By looking at what people are wearing, we can infer that it's cold outside. Synonyms include 'surmise, deduce, reason,' and 'conclude.

Prediction is also a noun. It is a prediction about the future. Predictions are usually verbal statements, but they can also refer to thoughts. It could be, for example, that I predicted it would snow tomorrow. A common verb form of prediction is 'predict.' To predict means to predict what might happen or will happen in the future. It will snow tomorrow, for example. Prediction and prediction are often based on observation, scientific reason, or factual evidence. However, there is no guarantee that these words will be used. A prediction may be wrong or right. Weather forecasts are a good example of a daily prediction. Forecasts or predictions are based on scientific evidence. However, it is not a certainty but a probability.

Difference between inference and prediction in Tabular Form

Parameters for Comparison Inference Prediction
Significance Inference is a term that refers to a conclusion made based on facts and evidence. Prediction refers to a definitive statement about a future event.
Evaluation A conclusion is drawn by looking at statistics and facts that are based on evidence and existing data. Although statistics and facts are used to make a prediction, it is more common for them be approximate estimates.
Models Inference is the process of drawing a conclusion from existing data. It describes the relationship between variables and the outcome of an event. A model is not required to be prepared in order to make a prediction.
There is no guarantee of success The conclusion is more certain to be right if it is based on statistical models that are based upon facts and evidence. A prediction can be more accurate than an inference, but there is less certainty that it will be right. The future is uncertain.
Formulas The noun 'inference' can be used to refer to a person; its verb form is 'infer'. Prediction is a noun. It is also referred to as a verb.

These words are used in different ways depending on their time. The inference is when a conclusion can be drawn from the evidence. An 'interference' doesn't necessarily have to refer to future events. However, it does include a conclusion that cannot be reached using reasoning. It is more common to use 'predictions' than 'inferences when future events are involved. The future is never known, even with evidence or reason. One could infer that the boy who has untied shoes will fall and trip, which would be the correct usage of the technology. This is probable based on logic and reason. However, prediction is more likely because it is still in the future. In this example, we might say: I predicted that the boy wearing untied shoes would slip, and seeing him cry, I can infer that it did happen. This example uses 'prediction' to predict the future and 'inference' to draw conclusions based on the observed facts.


Inference and prediction are two of the most difficult aspects of literacy instruction. Some of this is just jargon. One argument could be made that distinguishing between the main idea and theme is more difficult than it's worth.

Teachers must understand the nuances of reading to teach students how to read digital media and close read various texts. What is the difference? The difference between prediction and inference is one of fulfilment. A prediction is an educated guess (often about explicit details) that can be confirmed or disproved, while inference is more concerned with the implicit.

What is the inference?

When used as a noun, inference refers to reaching a conclusion based on data, facts, and evidence. This involves the creation of a model to describe the relationship between variables and the outcome of an event.

As the objective evaluation has been completed, there is some certainty. The conclusion might not always be about the future, which is more likely to be unknowable. The term "inference" is commonly used to refer to the conclusion that is about the current.

The term is also used as a verb and is called "infer." It is the act of concluding. If children are rude when they eat vegetables, their mothers "infer" that they don't like them; or if customers give bad reviews about a restaurant, it's "inferred" that the food is poor.

Examples of the word 'inference (noun) in sentences include: Tom made an "inference" about what was under the tables, or the detective asked his assistant for an "inference" based on the clues available.

What is a prediction?

Prediction is a noun that refers to a conclusion about a future event. Its evaluation can be based on facts, data, or evidence. This makes it more common to use the term casually than 'Inference'.

It is impossible to predict whether a prediction will come true. Predictions are about the future and therefore, it is uncertain if they will be true. Predictions are often based on facts and data, even though they may not be made with models or statistics.

The term can be used verbally as 'predict' or 'predicted'. One example: The weather predictor predicted whether it would rain this time, or the fortune-teller predicted that the house would soon be sold.

Examples of the word 'prediction (noun) in sentences include: - His prediction about the future was wrong. Jerry also predicted that the blue team would win that tournament.

The Key difference between inference and prediction

Inferences are generally drawn from observations made using the five senses. A prediction, on the other hand, is an assumption that can be made based on no evidence. It is based on the feelings of the predictor.

Reading comprehension is now a fundamental subject at every school. Students must understand how to read and analyze what they are reading. Literary instruction is difficult because it is hard to distinguish between reading and inference.

Many people may find these words to be rousing. They are part of English in Primary/Elementary school. But time can be a foe to certain memories, and these memories tend to fade. It is important to understand the differences between these terms as people use them in their everyday lives. These terms are closely related, which is why there is so much confusion.

It is important to know that inference and prediction are two types. Both are very similar, so it's easy to understand each using one. Both types are used in science and reading.

Inference can be described as concluding the five senses' observations. These observations can help a person understand something. This understanding is called a reference. An inference is a reading process that allows a person to draw certain conclusions about a book or character from what the author has told them. This knowledge can be based on their prior knowledge and the information provided by the author. Inferences cannot be drawn from a book that is being read. This inference can be proven or not. An inference in science is when someone draws a conclusion from the evidence.

Example: Rains can be attributed to grey clouds and thundery skies. The sky outside is grey and cloudy with thunder so it is possible that it will rain.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides a formal definition of "inference":

  • The act of passing from one statement, proposition, or judgment as true to another whose truth it is believed to follow from the former
  • The act of converting statistical sample data into generalizations (as of population parameters), usually with calculated levels of certainty
  • Something that can be inferred, especially: A conclusion or opinion that is formed based on known facts or evidence

A prediction, on the other hand, is an assumption that can be made based on no evidence. You can guess that it is based on how the predictor feels. A prediction is like a coin. It can either be accurate or incorrect. A prediction is when a reader predicts the outcome of a book's events, such as whether the characters will survive or how the story will end. This can be done at any point in the book. It will be proven in the end. It might be correct or wrong. A prediction in science is usually made before an experiment is performed. However, there are no rules against it being made during the experiment. The prediction made before the experiment is conducted is called a hypothesis. The experiment will prove if the hypothesis holds true.

Example: Television causes violent behaviour in children. This can be true or false, so it will take some experimentation.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides a formal definition of prediction:

  • Prediction is an act of prediction
  • Forecast is a prediction.

What is the difference between inference and prediction?

Definitions of Prediction and Inference:

Inference: This is the act of drawing conclusions from information.

Prediction: It is the act of predicting what an event will be in the future.

Characteristics of Prediction and Inference:

Inference: Evidence is used to infer.

Prediction: Evidence may or may not have been used when predicting.


Inference: These conclusions are made based on information.

Prediction: It is based upon past events, experience and reasoning.

Main difference between inference and prediction in Points

  1. The inference is the process of drawing a conclusion from existing data, facts and evidence. Prediction refers to a conclusive statement made by either evaluating data or making an estimate.
  2. Inferences are general conclusions about the current situation, but they can also be made about the future. A prediction, on the other hand, is a conclusion about the future.
  3. Inference is more certain than prediction.
  4. Inference is the process of constructing a model from statistics and data, and then coming up with a conclusion. A prediction, on the other hand, does not require a model to analyze.
  5. The verb form for the noun "Inference" is "infer", while the verb form for the noun "Prediction" is merely 'predict".


Prediction and inference are two English words with very similar meanings. It can be difficult to distinguish between the two words. It is possible to distinguish them by recollecting the involvement of "the future" with each word.

An inference can be made about the future, but it is not required. An inference can be used to conclude something about the future, but it is usually based on a current situation. A prediction, on the other hand, is always made about future events or occurrences.

Although predictions can be made with facts and evidence, the outcome or conclusion of any given evaluation is never certain. This is because, despite all the logic and reason available, the future remains unknown.


  1. https://arxiv.org/abs/1805.09921
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304407611000674


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"Difference Between Inference and Prediction." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 14 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-inference-and-prediction-297>.

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