argue that / claim that

Gavril

Senior Member
English, USA
Hello,

For me, there's a difference of tone between the following two sentences:

He argued that the budget cuts would have no effect on teachers' wages.
He claimed that the budget cuts would have no effect on teachers' wages.

The second suggests that the sentence's writer doubts the claim about the budget cuts, whereas the first sentence has a more positive (or at least more neutral) tone.

Is there any other difference between argue and claim in this context? For example, does argue imply that the person gives reasons for his claim (though not necessarily valid ones)? I know that claim doesn't have this implication, and argue sometimes does, but I'm not sure if this is a necessary implication of argue.
 
  • morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    He claimed - he just said that.

    If I say my salary is 100K a year, from someone else's point of view, I clam it. (I did not offer any proof).
    If I start defending this statement, when others say 'There's no way in hell you can make a hundred grand" - I would be arguing my point.
     

    JoanTaber

    Senior Member
    English Northeast USA
    "To claim" means to assert. There is no suggestion of doubt on the speaker's part; in fact, it's quite the opposite.
    "To argue" also means to assert, but it suggests there is a counter-argument.

    Indeed, we often use the terms interchangeably; although, one could claim otherwise and argue the point.
     

    Gavril

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    "To argue" also means to assert, but it suggests there is a counter-argument.
    Good point: if you said, He argued that [X], it would mean that that he used the claim [X] as part of an argument, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he provided an argument for [X] itself.
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    He claims his cure works better than those that exist or have ever existed so far.
    He argues his cure is the best, though his opponents say that this has yet to be proven by a double-blind double-randomized study, that no one has performed so far.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top