Implicit vs Explicit: Difference and Comparison

The terms “implicit” and “explicit” are two adjective words. Both the spellings are almost the same except for the first two alphabets. 

The terms “implicit” and “explicit” have exactly the opposite meanings from each other, and they are antonyms. People get confused with the meanings of the terms because of their similar sounds.

One can remember the terms by remembering the first two alphabets of the terms. The terms implicit and explicit are used in many different contexts, such as in poetry, academic writing, programming, economics, mathematics, etc but the meaning and definitions remain the same.

Key Takeaways

  1. Implicit knowledge or concepts remain unconscious and automatic, while explicit knowledge or concepts require conscious thought and effort.
  2. Implicit memory refers to an unconscious recall of skills and habits, while explicit memory entails a conscious recollection of facts and events.
  3. Implicit learning occurs naturally through exposure and experience, while explicit learning involves intentional instruction and practice.

Implicit VS Explicit

The term ‘implicit’ describes things that are not stated directly but are implied or understood based on context or previous knowledge. Implicit information is communicated through body language, tone of voice, or other nonverbal cues. Explicit is things that are stated directly and clearly. Explicit information is communicated through language, whether spoken or written.

Implicit VS
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The term Implicit is an adjective word that is used in many different contexts with different meanings and motives. The term implicit is used to describe something, which is understood but not clearly described or expressed, leading to doubt and confusion.

It gives us an indirect meaning which is confusing. These sentences confuse the reader as they only give us the secondary meaning.

On the other hand, the term Explicit is also an adjective word. The term is used to describe something which is clearly described and understood, and hence, it’s clear and not confusing. 

Explicit sentences are clear sentences that mean it has a clear and precise meaning, so there is no room for confusion. These sentences do not confuse the reader.

These sentences do not confuse the reader as they only give us the primary meaning.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonImplicitExplicit
Definitionthe term “implicit” refers to something which is understood but not clearly expressed and hence, leads to confusionthe term “explicit” refers to something which is clearly understood and expressed without any confusion
Attitude of Sentencesthe implicit sentences are clearly understood, but not expressed properly, hence confusing sentencesthe explicit sentences are clearly expressed and understood and hence, not confusing
Sentence Typeimplied sentencesclear sentences
Primary or Secondary MeaningShow-cases secondary meaning of sentencesShow-cases the primary meaning of sentences
ExampleSuzy yelled “ouch” after drinking from the bowl.Suzy burned her mouth on a hot bowl of soup.

What is Implicit?

The term Implicit refers to something which is not clearly expressed or described but can be understood.

The attitude of implicit sentences is automatic, below conscious awareness and involuntarily activated.

Implicit sentences are indirect sentences where the direct meaning is not stated, and hence it is puzzling. Generally, these kinds of sentences are seen in novels, short stories, or even movies.

The term is implicit is used in many contexts, like in terms of cost, computer programming, conversion, casting, etc. When a person uses an implicit sentence, it’s clear, and there is no confusion.

The readers do require to infer as the words or texts are not exact. The reader requires to understand the depth of the statement to get the meaning.

The sentences need to be implied as the word itself means ‘implicit’, which means some external thinking is required.

implicit

What is Explicit?

The term Explicit refers to something which is clearly expressed, directed, and implied with clear wordings and clearly understood. There is no space for any sort of confusion.

The attitude of explicit sentences is deliberate, conscious, and voluntarily accessible. The explicit sentences are clear sentences which means the writing of the sentences is precise, which is not difficult to acknowledge.

These sentences are clear with their meaning and get straight to their point.

The readers do not require to infer as the words or texts are exact. The direct intentions or motive is clearly expressed through the statements.

Main Difference Between Implicit and Explicit

.1. The term Implicit refers to something which is understood but not clearly expressed or described, which leads to confusion. Whereas the term Explicit refers to something which is clearly expressed, directed, and implied, and clearly understood by a person without any confusion.

2. The attitude of the implicit sentences is clearly understood and expressed but confusing. Whereas the attitude of explicit sentences is clearly understood but not clearly expressed and hence, not confusing.

3. The implicit sentences are implied sentences that mean it’s understood but not clearly expressed, which causes confusion. Whereas the explicit sentences are clear sentences that are easy to understand and expressed properly, hence no confusion.

4. The implicit sentences give us the secondary meaning of the conclusion of the sentence. In contrast, explicit sentences give us the primary and actual meaning of the conclusion of the sentence.

5. Example of the implicit sentence- Suzy yelled “ouch” after drinking from the bowl. Whereas an example of the explicit sentence- Suzy burned her mouth on a hot bowl of soup.

Difference Between Implicit and
References
  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/behavioral-and-brain-sciences/article/theory-of-implicit-and-explicit-knowledge/F83108BA5175CFD755D9D315961F643B
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=xmLoVScagwYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA313&dq=Implicit+and+Explicit&ots=jmCFSjdZp0&sig=mW7932lTGoQWrLBxw0MZbNUS-zg

Last Updated : 28 July, 2023

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