The verb to assume is followed by a clause or to infinitive. Though dictionaries don't mention it, for me, it seems correct to use this structure: assume + a noun. For example:

Assume a sudden increase in population, ~

Is such a structure appropriate, or should it be written in the clause?

  • "Assume" can certainly be transitive. See here: link
    – BillJ
    Jan 19, 2020 at 12:56

1 Answer 1


When a noun is the direct object of the verb assume, most of the time the connotation of the verb is undertaking some role or task:

When the owner of the company died, he assumed the powers of CEO.

But for the meaning of assume as "take as true," a noun can serve as direct object:

I think it's a racism thing when you assume things about Ed.

This is common in mathematics:

If we assume the Riemann Hypothesis, the real part of ρ is always 1/2.

  • Assume a fire. How do you escape? Jan 19, 2020 at 10:29
  • @MichaelHarvey How? Easy. As long as we're assuming, I assume a working sprinkler system.
    – user105719
    Jan 19, 2020 at 10:53
  • If you assume... (etc). Jan 19, 2020 at 11:11
  • 1
    @MichaelHarvey Assume makes an ash out of "u" and "me"?
    – user105719
    Jan 19, 2020 at 11:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .