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convince / persuade

Do “convince” and “persuade” have the same meaning?

The answer is yes and no. In some cases, they can be used interchangeably. But they do have distinct meanings that need to be understood.
Convince” means to cause someone to change their mind, or their opinion. The Latin word means to ‘conquer.’
Persuade” means to cause someone to do something . The Latin word means to ‘appeal,’ or to ‘advise.’
In general, when we convince someone, we convince their mind, but they may not do anything about it. Whereas, when we persuade someone, we persuade them to take action.

So to say that I am convinced about something, it simply means that I agree that it is right. But to say that I am persuaded about something, it means that I will do something about it.

  • A person may be convinced that a book is good, but they may never buy it.
  • But if a person is persuaded that a book is good, they will probably buy it.

Richard Carrigan

Richard Carrigan has been an educator for over 30 years. He has experience teaching professional and academic English. He earned his graduate degree from Shenandoah University.

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