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Determine vs. Decide: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Determine means to ascertain or establish conclusively, often after analysis or calculation. Decide means to make a choice or judgment from a range of possibilities.
Determine vs. Decide

Key Differences

Determine implies a process of figuring out something with certainty, often through investigation or analysis. Decide, on the other hand, is about making a choice or selecting an option after considering various possibilities.
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Nov 18, 2023
When you determine something, you are reaching a conclusion based on evidence or facts. Decide is more about making a judgment or choosing a course of action, which may not necessarily be based on concrete evidence.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023
Determine can often involve a longer process of detailed examination or calculation. In contrast, decide can be a quicker action, involving the act of making up one's mind or settling on a decision.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023
The term determine is often used in contexts where precision and accuracy are important, such as in scientific or legal settings. Decide is more commonly used in everyday language and can refer to choices in personal or less formal situations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023
Determine often suggests a definitive conclusion, while decide implies a selection among alternatives, where the decision-maker's personal preference or judgment plays a significant role.
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Nov 18, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Nature of Action

Establishing facts or truth
Making a choice or judgment
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Process Involved

Involves analysis or investigation
Involves selecting from options
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Usage Context

More common in scientific, legal, or precise contexts
More common in personal, everyday situations
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Nov 18, 2023

Time Frame

Can be a longer, detailed process
Often a quicker action
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Nov 18, 2023

Outcome

Leads to a definitive conclusion
Results in a chosen option or path
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Determine and Decide Definitions

Determine

To ascertain facts or truth through investigation.
The detective worked to determine the cause of the accident.
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Nov 18, 2023

Decide

To make a choice or come to a resolution.
He had to decide between two job offers.
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Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To establish something exactly, often by calculation or research.
Scientists determined the age of the fossils using carbon dating.
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Nov 18, 2023

Decide

To come to a conclusion or resolution.
After much thought, she decided on her future career.
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Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To establish or ascertain definitely, as after consideration, investigation, or calculation
Determined the easiest way to reach the summit.
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Oct 19, 2023
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Decide

To influence or control the outcome of something.
Her vote decided the election.
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Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To give direction to by making decisions; devise or control
The school board determines educational policy.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To reach a conclusion or form a judgment or opinion about (something) by reasoning or consideration
Decide what to do.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To decide or settle (a dispute, for example) conclusively and authoritatively.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To cause to make or reach a decision
"The presence of so many witnesses decided him at once to flee" (Robert Louis Stevenson).
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To cause (someone) to come to a decision or resolution
"It was the discovery ... of this very project of hers, which determined him to come forward at once, own it all to his uncle" (Jane Austen).
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To settle conclusively all contention or uncertainty about
Decide a case.
Decided the dispute in favor of the workers.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To be the cause of; bring about a result regarding
The genes that determine eye color.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To influence or determine the outcome of
A few votes decided the election.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

(Mathematics) To fix or define the position, form, or configuration of.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To pronounce a judgment; announce a verdict.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

(Logic) To explain or limit by adding differences.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To reach a decision; make up one's mind.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

(Archaic) To put an end to legally; terminate under the law.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

(ambitransitive) to resolve (a contest, problem, dispute, etc.); to choose, determine, or settle
The election will be decided on foreign policies.
We must decide our next move.
Her last-minute goal decided the game.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To reach a decision; resolve
Determined to become a better pilot.
Determined on a course of treatment.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

(intransitive) to make a judgment, especially after deliberation
You must decide between good and evil.
I have decided that it is healthier to walk to work.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

(Archaic) To come to an end through legal means.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

(transitive) to cause someone to come to a decision
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To set the boundaries or limits of.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

(obsolete) to cut off; to separate
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To ascertain definitely; to figure out, find out, or conclude by analyzing, calculating, or investigating.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To cut off; to separate.
Our seat denies us traffic here;The sea, too near, decides us from the rest.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To fix the form or character of; to shape; to prescribe imperatively; to regulate; to settle.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To bring to a termination, as a question, controversy, struggle, by giving the victory to one side or party; to render judgment concerning; to determine; to settle.
So shall thy judgment be; thyself hast decided it.
The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To fix the course of; to impel and direct; with a remoter object preceded by to.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To determine; to form a definite opinion; to come to a conclusion; to give decision; as, the court decided in favor of the defendant.
Who shall decide, when doctors disagree?
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To bring to a conclusion, as a question or controversy; to settle authoritative or judicial sentence; to decide.
The court has determined the cause.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

Reach, make, or come to a decision about something;
We finally decided after lengthy deliberations
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To resolve (to do something); to establish a fixed intention; to cause (something) to come to a conclusion or decision; to lead.
I determined to go home at once.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

Bring to an end; settle conclusively;
The case was decided
The judge decided the case in favor of the plaintiff
The father adjudicated when the sons were quarreling over their inheritance
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

(logic) To define or limit by adding a differentia.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

Cause to decide;
This new development finally decided me!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To bring to an end; to finish.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

Influence or determine;
The vote in New Hampshire often decides the outcome of the Presidential election
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To fix the boundaries of; to mark off and separate.
[God] hath determined the times before appointed.
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To settle a question or dispute.
The judge will decide the outcome of the case.
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Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To set bounds to; to fix the determination of; to limit; to bound; to bring to an end; to finish.
The knowledge of men hitherto hath been determined by the view or sight.
Now, where is he that will not stay so longTill his friend sickness hath determined me?
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Oct 19, 2023

Decide

To cut off debate and bring to a conclusion.
The chairman decided to end the meeting early.
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Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To fix the form or character of; to shape; to prescribe imperatively; to regulate; to settle.
The character of the soul is determined by the character of its God.
Something divinely beautiful . . . that at some time or other might influence or even determine her course of life.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To fix the course of; to impel and direct; - with a remoter object preceded by to; as, another's will determined me to this course.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To ascertain definitely; to find out the specific character or name of; to assign to its true place in a system; as, to determine an unknown or a newly discovered plant or its name.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To bring to a conclusion, as a question or controversy; to settle authoritative or judicial sentence; to decide; as, the court has determined the cause.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To resolve on; to have a fixed intention of; also, to cause to come to a conclusion or decision; to lead; as, this determined him to go immediately.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To define or limit by adding a differentia.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To ascertain the presence, quantity, or amount of; as, to determine the parallax; to determine the salt in sea water.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To come to an end; to end; to terminate.
He who has vented a pernicious doctrine or published an ill book must know that his life determine not together.
Estates may determine on future contingencies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To come to a decision; to decide; to resolve; - often with on.
He shall pay as the judges determine.
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

After a calculation, investigation, experiment, survey, or study;
Find the product of two numbers
The physicist who found the elusive particle won the Nobel Prize
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Shape or influence; give direction to;
Experience often determines ability
Mold public opinion
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Fix conclusively or authoritatively;
Set the rules
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Decide upon or fix definitely;
Fix the variables
Specify the parameters
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Reach, make, or come to a decision about something;
We finally decided after lengthy deliberations
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Fix in scope; fix the boundaries of; the tree determines the border of the property
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Settle conclusively; come to terms;
We finally settled the argument
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Oct 19, 2023

Determine

Find out, learn, or determine with certainty, usually by making an inquiry or other effort;
I want to see whether she speaks French
See whether it works
Find out if he speaks Russian
Check whether the train leaves on time
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Determine

To cause something to occur in a particular way.
His ambition determined his career path.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To fix or decide a decision or course of action.
She determined to start her own business.
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Nov 18, 2023

Determine

To limit or define the nature of something.
Genetics can determine certain physical traits.
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Nov 18, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can 'decide' be a quick action?

Yes, it often involves quickly making up one's mind.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'determine' imply causation?

Yes, it can imply causing something to occur in a specific way.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Is 'determine' often used in scientific contexts?

Yes, it's common in contexts requiring precision, like science.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

What does 'decide' mean?

It means to make a choice or select from options.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Is 'decide' used more in everyday language?

Yes, it's common in personal or less formal situations.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Is 'determine' more about establishing facts or making choices?

It's more about establishing facts or truths.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

What does 'determine' mean?

It means to ascertain or establish something conclusively, often after investigation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Does 'determine' require evidence?

Typically, it involves reaching a conclusion based on evidence or facts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'decide' be used in legal contexts?

Yes, but it's more about judgment or choice than establishing facts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Does 'decide' always involve multiple options?

Generally, it involves choosing from a range of possibilities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Is 'determine' a lengthy process?

It can be, especially when it involves detailed examination.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'determine' involve personal bias?

It typically aims to be objective, based on facts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Is 'decide' more spontaneous than 'determine'?

It can be, as it often involves quicker decision-making.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'determine' be used in everyday language?

Yes, but it's less common than in specialized contexts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Is 'determine' more formal than 'decide'?

Generally, it's considered more formal or technical.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Does 'decide' imply a final choice?

Yes, it implies settling on a final decision or choice.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'decide' be changed or reversed?

Yes, decisions can be changed or reconsidered.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'decide' involve personal preference?

Yes, personal judgment or preference often plays a role.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

What is a key difference in the outcomes of 'determine' and 'decide'?

'Determine' leads to a definitive conclusion, 'decide' results in a chosen option.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

Can 'determine' involve calculation?

Yes, it often involves calculations or precise measurements.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 18, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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