English vocabulary is full of confusing words that confuse every writer and speaker. Especially, writers should be very careful with word choice in order to make their writings efficient and productive. Other than homophones, there are other words as well that create a muddle like situation. Today, I am coming up with two such words that mostly people use them interchangeably but there is a distinction between them. The case is convince vs. persuade.
I will define each of these words and use them in example sentences to show you their function within sentences.
Convince vs. Persuade – What is the Difference, Definition & Meaning?
Is it convince or persuade?
Convince and persuade are often get confused. Both of these words are used as verbs within sentences but you have to be careful with word choice as, both words can mean different. Most of the people think that convince and persuade are interchangeable; but, if you want your writings to be error-free, you should consider both of these words as different words, let me define convince and persuade one by one.
Convince is used as a verb within a sentence. It means to make someone to believe in something. For instance, a person is causing another person to believe in something and saying that it is true and you have to believe in it; maybe through argument.
1. How can I convince you that the color you are wearing does not suit you?
2. First, I am trying to prove to myself that I’m a person, then maybe I’ll convince myself that I’m an actress. (Marilyn Monroe)
Like convince, persuade is also used as a verb within a sentence. It means to make someone believe and to do something. For instance, a person is causing another person to believe something and saying that it is true and you have not only to believe in it but you have to do it (action); either through argument or by giving an advice.
1. How can I persuade you to change your dress?
2. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good. (Thomas Jefferson)
Got the Difference?
It is clear from the above definitions that there is a slight difference between convince and persuade in terms of meaning. You have to be careful about the situation as convince is much related to the mind whereas, persuade is very much physical. It means that persuade is about the action.
You convince someone to believe. On the other hand, you persuade someone to do something, physically.
Persuade = Action
Convince = Non-action
It is concluded that convince and persuade are very much alike that is why they are often get confused and people use them interchangeably. However, if you observe the contexts, you will come to know that both of these words are not interchangeable. Convince is to cause someone to believe whereas, persuade is to cause someone to do.