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What's the difference between "predict" and "forecast"?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language



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    Predict = to say that an event or action will happen in the future, especially as a result of knowledge or experience, it is usually focussed on outcomes and not the pathway to those outcomes. For example, I could predict that by 2050 all vehicles will be powered with electric motors without explaining how we get from low adoption in 2012 to full adoption by 2050.

    Forecast = a statement of what is judged likely to happen in the future, especially in connection with a particular situation.
    The terms forecast and prediction are often used interchangeably but sometimes forecasts are distinguished from predictions in that forecasts often provide explanations of the pathways to an outcome.

    A prediction is outcome oriented and applies to a particular event at a particular time. It can involve careful analysis, but often does not.

    A forecast involves an analysis of various factors and includes the estimation of multiple possible outcomes.

    If I am working in business or science, a 'forecast' is preferred over a 'prediction', as the image of predication involves some magic seer, though by strict definition, that is not really the case.

    To predict is to say what you think will happen based on one of a variety of means, some based on deductive logic others on pure chance, guesses or beliefs.

    Forecasting is one type of prediction. It is based on deductive logic that uses patterns to dictate the direction certain action or events might take. Weather forecasting is the best example of this.

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