CONVINCE vs PERSUADE – Is There a Difference?


The words CONVINCE and PERSUADE are very close synonyms and often used interchangeably. However, grammatically speaking, there is a difference.

This video gives a clear explanation of the difference between CONVINCE and PERSUADE associated clipart for easy memory retention. It then provides 4 illustrated sentence examples so you won’t forget the difference.

After watching the video and learning the difference between CONVINCE and PERSUADE, look for opportunities to use these words correctly in your daily conversation.

Here is a transcript of the video: ” What is the Difference Between CONVINCE & PERSUADE?”

Slide 2:
CONVINCE & PERSUADE are close synonyms and many speakers use them interchangeably. So probably no one will correct you if you use these two words in a variety of contexts.

Both words have the idea of presenting reasons, or arguments.

Slide 3:

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Slide 4:
CONVINCE has the more specific meaning of presenting reasoning or argumentation to make someone believe something, or accept a point of view.

PERSUADE has the more specific meaning of presenting reasoning or argumentation to make someone do something, or perform an action.

Slide 5:
In the picture we see a dramatization of a court room scene in the famous O. J. Simpson trial in the United States back in 1995.

Sentence example: In the famous O. J. Simpson trial, the defence attorney was able to convince the jury that O. J. was innocent.

Slide 6:
In the picture we see Trump supporters demonstrating outside a government building the U.S.

Sentence example: After the 2020 US presidential election, Donald Trump convinced millions of his supporters that the election result was a fraud.

Notice how these two examples used the word CONVINCE in relation to beliefs and ideas. Now let’s look at PERSUADE:

Slide 7:
The picture shows two young women walking together.

Sentence example: Although she was very tired and wanted to rest, her friend persuaded her to go shopping with her.

Slide 8:
The picture shows famous Hollywood actress Mae West in her younger years.

Sentence example: Twenty-six years after making her last film, at the age of 76, Mae West was persuaded to sign a contract with 20th Century Fox for one more movie.

The last two examples of PERSUADE were related to action, first, going shopping, secondly, signing a contract.

Slide 9:
So remember, the words CONVINCE and PERSUADE both mean presenting reasoning or argumentation. The modern trend is to use them interchangeably.

However, if you want to be strictly grammatically accurate, use CONVINCE for making someone agree or believe something, and PERSUADE to get someone to do something.

Slide 10:
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As you are interested in convince vs persuade, you may be interested in two other words that can cause confusion:
What’s the Difference Between CLIMATIC and CLIMACTIC?


Image Credits:
Slide 5 – O. J. Simpson
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Slide 6 – election
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Slide 7 – shopping
Creative Commons

Slide 8 – Mae West
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