English Idioms

Synonym of "to assert"

In my daily lesson, it was asked to find in the text a synonym of "to assert" and "to state".
Quote : Scientists [...] that life on Mars is likely, but it has not yet been proven. (A term meaning 'to assert' or 'to state'.)

The correction of Gymglish was : "claim". And I do agree with their answer which concure very well here.
But, I wonder if my answer qualified "false" by Gymglish isn't right too. I chose "suggest". Furthermore, the use of "suggest" could be biassed BUT in the text just before, they use "suggest" with the exact meaning of "assert".
Quote from the text : "obesity among Americans is not slowing down, as naive idealists continue to suggest, but rather growing at a nearly exponential rate"

On the contrary, they use their "correct" answer "claim" with a not very correspondent meaning : Quote from the text : "In related news, the city of Houston, Texas can once again claim the title of 'America's fattest city' "

Was "suggest" a bad answer ?


  • In the first example you report, Stephane, the verb 'claim' is used in its meaning "state to be true". "To claim can be "to state to be true, especially when open to question; assert or maintain". (cfr Answers.com) -//- In the second quote dealing with Houston, the claim means a demand of being recognized as the fattest city. "To claim can also mean to demand, ask for, or take as one's own or one's due" (cfr Answers.com) -//- The meaning of a word can vary in accordance to the context. -//- About your answer "suggest": I for one think your answer is not that bad. But it seems to me that suggesting something is weaker that stating it, claiming it, asserting it, affirming it. A suggestion looks more like a proposal. But the scientists are said TO BE SURE that life on Mars is LIKELY even though it has not yet been proven. What's you mind about such a shade of meaning?
  • Adjacent words of 'assert'
    assent to something
    assert yourself

  • "suggest" is not the best answer .... suggest is like "recommending" or providing / giving another idea, choice or object over something else --- example : may i suggest bread instead of cake?

    a better answer would be ( describe, state, depict )
    ---->. obesity among Americans is not slowing down, as naive idealists continue to DECSRIBE / DEPICT / STATE, but rather growing at a nearly exponential rate"

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