# Prove vs. Suggest — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 5, 2024

**Prove involves demonstrating the truth or existence of something through evidence, whereas suggest involves proposing or indicating a possibility without definitive proof.**

## Difference Between Prove and Suggest

### Table of Contents

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## Key Differences

Prove is about establishing the truth or validity of a statement or hypothesis through concrete evidence, analysis, or experiment. This process is often rigorous and requires a high level of certainty. On the other hand, suggest involves putting forward ideas or possibilities without the necessity of providing proof. Suggestions rely more on inference, indication, or hints, and are not bound by the stringent requirements of proof.

Prove is a key concept in scientific research, mathematics, and law, where propositions or theories must be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt or with a high degree of certainty. In these fields, proving something often involves a structured methodology and empirical evidence. Whereas, suggest is commonly used in everyday language and in areas where subjective judgment or preliminary ideas are involved. It is more about opening up possibilities or guiding thought without the need for immediate evidence or conclusive proof.

The outcomes of proving versus suggesting are fundamentally different. To prove something means to establish its truth in a way that is generally accepted by all. Once something is proven, it's considered a fact or a verified piece of information. Whereas the outcome of a suggestion is more open-ended, leading possibly to exploration, debate, or further investigation. A suggestion might be accepted, rejected, or considered, but it doesn't carry the same weight as a proof.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

Establish truth or validity through evidence.

Propose or indicate a possibility without definitive proof.

### Requirement

Requires concrete evidence or methodology.

Does not necessarily require evidence.

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### Fields

Often used in law, science, and mathematics.

Common in everyday language and preliminary discussions.

### Outcome

Results in a fact or verified information.

Leads to further exploration or consideration.

### Example

Proving a mathematical theorem.

Suggesting a hypothesis or theory.

## Compare with Definitions

#### Prove

To demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument.

The prosecutor worked hard to prove the defendant's guilt.

#### Suggest

To mention or introduce (an idea, proposition, plan, etc.) for consideration or possible action.

The committee suggests a new policy for handling complaints.

#### Prove

To test the truth of, to put to trial.

Time will prove these predictions accurate.

#### Suggest

To imply or indicate.

The symptoms suggest a common cold but could be more serious.

#### Prove

To establish the validity of (something) as by an example, experiment, or logical argument.

The scientist proved the new theory with innovative experiments.

#### Suggest

To hint or insinuate.

He suggested that there might be more to the story.

#### Prove

To turn out, especially after a test or trial.

The hypothesis proved to be correct.

#### Suggest

To call to mind through association or resemblance.

The movie's theme suggests a classic tragedy.

#### Prove

To show oneself to be worthy or capable.

She proved herself to be a reliable researcher.

#### Suggest

To propose as a possibility.

I suggest taking a different approach to solve this problem.

#### Prove

To establish the truth or validity of (something) by the presentation of argument or evidence

The novel proves that the essayist can write in more than one genre. The storm proved him to be wrong in his prediction.

#### Suggest

Put forward for consideration

I suggest that we wait a day or two

‘Maybe you ought to get an expert,’ she suggested

Ruth suggested a holiday

#### Prove

To demonstrate the reality of (something)

He proved his strength by doing 50 pushups.

#### Suggest

Cause one to think that (something) exists or is the case

Finds of lead coffins suggested a cemetery north of the river

The temperature wasn't as tropical as the bright sunlight may have suggested

#### Prove

To show (oneself) to be what is specified or to have a certain characteristic

Proved herself to be a formidable debater.

Proved herself to be worthy of the task.

#### Suggest

To offer for consideration or action; propose

Suggest things for children to do.

Suggested that we take a walk.

#### Prove

To establish by the required amount of evidence

Proved his case in court.

#### Suggest

To express or say indirectly

The police officer seemed to be suggesting that the death was not an accident.

#### Prove

To establish the authenticity of (a will).

#### Suggest

To make evident indirectly; intimate or imply

A silence that suggested disapproval.

#### Prove

To demonstrate the validity of (a hypothesis or proposition).

#### Suggest

To bring or call to mind by logic or association; evoke

A cloud that suggests a mushroom.

A ringlike symbol suggesting unity.

#### Prove

To verify (the result of a calculation).

#### Suggest

To serve as or provide a motive for; prompt or demand

Such a crime suggests apt punishment.

#### Prove

To subject (a gun, for instance) to a test.

#### Suggest

(transitive) To imply but stop short of explicitly stating (something).

Are you suggesting that I killed my wife?

#### Prove

(Printing) To make a sample impression of (type); proof.

#### Suggest

(transitive) To cause one to suppose (something); to bring to one's mind the idea (of something).

The name "hamburger" suggests that hamburgers originated from Hamburg.

#### Prove

(Archaic) To find out or learn (something) through experience.

#### Suggest

(transitive) To explicitly mention (something) as a possibility for consideration, often to recommend it

He suggests that we celebrate with dinner at Bellissimo.

He suggests our celebrating with dinner at Bellissimo.

The guidebook suggests that we visit the local cathedral, which is apparently beautiful.

#### Prove

To be shown to be such; turn out

A theory that proved impractical in practice.

A schedule that proved to be too demanding.

#### Suggest

To seduce; to prompt to evil; to tempt.

#### Prove

(transitive) To demonstrate that something is true or viable; to give proof for.

I will prove that my method is more effective than yours.

#### Suggest

To introduce indirectly to the thoughts; to cause to be thought of, usually by the agency of other objects.

Some ideas . . . are suggested to the mind by all the ways of sensation and reflection.

#### Prove

(intransitive) To turn out; to manifest.

It proved to be a cold day.

#### Suggest

To propose with difference or modesty; to hint; to intimate; as, to suggest a difficulty.

#### Prove

(copulative) To turn out to be.

Have an exit strategy should your calculations prove incorrect.

#### Suggest

To seduce; to prompt to evil; to tempt.

Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested.

#### Prove

(transitive) To put to the test, to make trial of.

They took the experimental car to the proving-grounds.

The exception proves the rule.

#### Suggest

To inform secretly.

#### Prove

(transitive) To ascertain or establish the genuineness or validity of; to verify.

To prove a will

#### Suggest

To make suggestions; to tempt.

And ever weaker grows through acted crime,Or seeming-genial, venial fault,Recurring and suggesting still.

#### Prove

To experience.

#### Suggest

Make a proposal, declare a plan for something

#### Prove

To take a trial impression of; to take a proof of.

To prove a page

#### Suggest

Imply as a possibility;

The evidence suggests a need for more clarification

#### Prove

(homeopathy) To determine by experiment which effects a substance causes when ingested.

#### Suggest

Drop a hint; intimate by a hint

#### Prove

(baking) The process of dough proofing.

#### Suggest

Suggest the necessity of an intervention; in medicine;

Tetracycline is indicated in such cases

#### Prove

To try or to ascertain by an experiment, or by a test or standard; to test; as, to prove the strength of gunpowder or of ordnance; to prove the contents of a vessel by a standard measure.

Thou hast proved mine heart.

#### Suggest

Call to mind or evoke

#### Prove

To evince, establish, or ascertain, as truth, reality, or fact, by argument, testimony, or other evidence.

They have inferred much from slender premises, and conjectured when they could not prove.

#### Prove

To ascertain or establish the genuineness or validity of; to verify; as, to prove a will.

#### Prove

To gain experience of the good or evil of; to know by trial; to experience; to suffer.

Where she, captived long, great woes did prove.

#### Prove

To test, evince, ascertain, or verify, as the correctness of any operation or result; thus, in subtraction, if the difference between two numbers, added to the lesser number, makes a sum equal to the greater, the correctness of the subtraction is proved.

#### Prove

To take a trial impression of; to take a proof of; as, to prove a page.

#### Prove

To make trial; to essay.

#### Prove

To be found by experience, trial, or result; to turn out to be; as, a medicine proves salutary; the report proves false.

So life a winter's morn may prove.

#### Prove

To succeed; to turn out as expected.

#### Prove

Be shown or be found to be;

She proved to be right

The medicine turned out to save her life

She turned up HIV positive

#### Prove

Establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment;

The experiment demonstrated the instability of the compound

The mathematician showed the validity of the conjecture

#### Prove

Provide evidence for;

The blood test showed that he was the father

Her behavior testified to her incompetence

#### Prove

Prove formally; demonstrate by a mathematical, formal proof

#### Prove

Put to the test, as for its quality, or give experimental use to;

This approach has been tried with good results

Test this recipe

#### Prove

Increase in volume;

The dough rose slowly in the warm room

#### Prove

Cause to puff up with a leaven;

Unleavened bread

#### Prove

Take a trial impression of

#### Prove

Obtain probate of;

Prove a will

## Common Curiosities

#### Is a suggestion less valuable than a proof?

Not necessarily; suggestions can lead to new ideas, investigations, and eventually proofs. They are valuable in brainstorming and preliminary stages.

#### Why is proving something important?

Proving something is important because it establishes facts and truths that can be universally accepted, guiding decisions and beliefs.

#### What is required to prove a theory?

Proving a theory requires substantial evidence, experiments, or mathematical logic that consistently supports the theory across various conditions.

#### Can a suggestion become a proof?

Yes, a suggestion can become a proof if it is later supported by sufficient evidence or through rigorous validation.

#### How do suggestions contribute to research?

Suggestions contribute to research by proposing new directions, hypotheses, or solutions that can be explored and possibly proven.

#### What makes a proof valid?

A proof is valid if it is logically sound, based on reliable evidence, and acknowledged by the relevant community or authorities.

#### Can a suggestion influence public opinion?

Yes, suggestions can influence public opinion, especially if they resonate with people's beliefs, fears, or desires.

#### How does a suggestion differ from a proof?

A suggestion proposes or indicates a possibility without the need for definitive proof, whereas a proof requires concrete evidence.

#### What does it mean to prove something?

To prove something means to demonstrate its truth or validity through evidence or logical reasoning.

#### Why is it sometimes difficult to prove something?

It can be difficult to prove something due to the complexity of the subject, lack of evidence, or limitations in current knowledge or technology.

#### What role does proof play in science?

In science, proof is crucial for validating hypotheses and theories, ensuring that knowledge is based on empirical evidence and logical reasoning.

#### Can suggestions be based on evidence?

Yes, suggestions can be based on preliminary evidence or observations, but they do not require the level of validation needed for proof.

#### How do suggestions aid in problem-solving?

Suggestions aid in problem-solving by offering different perspectives and potential solutions that can be explored further.

#### Is evidence always necessary for a suggestion?

No, evidence is not always necessary for a suggestion, though it can make a suggestion more compelling.

#### What does it mean to suggest something in a conversation?

To suggest something in a conversation means to propose an idea or possibility for consideration without insisting on its truth or applying pressure.

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Written by

Urooj ArifUrooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

Co-written by

Fiza RafiqueFiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at AskDifference.com, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.