'Convince' or 'Persuade': What's the Difference?

By Amy Gilmore, updated on July 31, 2023

Do you need an explanation of the difference between and whether to use 'convince' or 'persuade?' I can help!

Here is a short answer: 

  • 'Convince' is a verb that means to persuade someone or cause them to change their opinion, position, or actions based on your words or actions.
  • 'Persuade' is also a verb that means to cause someone to agree with a specific idea, movement, decision, or set of actions based on your arguments or expressed opinions.

Get the full story on these terms and learn how to use them correctly in this guide with definitions, grammar rules, pronunciations, sample sentences, and helpful tips.

So, keep reading!

What is the Difference Between 'Convince' and 'Persuade?'

The differences between 'convince' and 'persuade' are how you spell and pronounce the terms. However, they share almost identical definitions.

So, they are synonyms of each other, which means that you can use the words interchangeably. Knowing words you can use in place of others helps to keep your writing from being repetitive and boring.

Definition of 'Convince': What Does 'Convince' Mean?

'Convince' is a verb defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as:

  • To persuade someone to choose a specific choice, opportunity, career path, or set of actions with your argument or opinions.

Synonyms of 'Convince'

  • Persuade
  • Puch
  • Convince
  • Influence
  • Attract
  • Bribe
  • Induce
  • Argue
  • Talk
  • Seduce
  • Enchant
  • Interest
  • Lure
  • Steal
  • Coax
  • Convert
  • Urge
  • Gain
  • Win

Definition of 'Persuade': What Does 'Persuade' Mean?

The same resource defines 'persuade' as a verb that means:

  • To motivate someone through argument, bribery, or other methods to agree with and follow your beliefs, opinions, direction, or path

It can also mean:

  • To urge
  • To plead with

Synonyms of 'Persuade'

  • Convince
  • Urge
  • Push
  • Influence
  • Bring
  •  Talk
  • Win
  • Satisfy
  • Coax
  • Tempt
  • Attract
  • Entice
  • Seduce
  • Lure
  • Sway
  • Allure
  • Tempt
  • Beguile
  • Snow
  • Sell
  • Interest
  • Converse
  • Reason
  • Dispute
  • Incline
  • Brainwash

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Convince' or 'Persuade'

Another critical step in familiarizing yourself with the definitions of words is to learn their proper pronunciation. So, take a minute to ensure you know how to pronounce 'convince' or 'persuade.'

Here is a  pronunciation guide you can use as a quick reference to ensure that your saying these words correctly.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'convince':


  • Use the phonetic spelling below to pronounce 'persuade':


When and How to Use 'Convince' or 'Persuade'

Now that you know the difference, definitions, and pronunciations of 'convince' vs. 'persuade,' I will give you tips for when and how to use each.

  • Use 'convince' as a verb to describe someone arguing or persuading someone to follow their opinions.

For example, I might say:

If you want to be elected student class president, you must convince people to vote for you. 

  • Use 'persuade' as a verb to influence someone to agree with your desires, opinions, views, vision, or path.

As an example, you could say:

She finally persuaded her mom after telling her that she would be home before curfew and would answer her phone any time her mom answered. 

  • Use 'convince' interchangeably with 'persuade.'

For example, you could say:

You must convince your parents to let you attend the concert next Friday. 

And you could also say:

You have to persuade your parents to let you go to the concert next Friday. 

As you can see, the sentence's meaning is the same despite which word you use.

  • You can use both to avoid redundancy in your texts.

For example, you might say:

She wasn't easy to convince, but I persuaded her after she saw that I cleaned the entire house before she got home from work. 

Sentences Using 'Convince' or 'Persuade'

Now, read these sample sentences using 'convince' or 'persuade' to ensure you know different ways to use these terms.


  • I am not going to convince you to come with us. I extended the invitation. So, you are more than welcome to go if you want.
  • There is nothing you can say to convince me to go to her party. Every event she hosts has crazy drama.
  • The parents and students attended the school board meeting to convince the board that they needed to update the outdated policies.
  • You do not have to convince me to go on the trip. I have wanted to go for years.
  • You must have convinced the judge because the judgment is in your favor.


  • Good salespeople are great at persuading people who don't want their products that they cannot live without them.
  • Using intimidation tactics to persuade people is not always practical.
  • Were you able to persuade him to come with you? If he doesn't get in your car, it will mess up the surprise party.
  • We have gone to court several times to persuade the city to repair the roads.


  • You don't have to convince me, but you do have to persuade the board.
  • If you want to persuade your mom to let you go, you must first convince your dad.
  • You try to persuade my dad while I try to convince my mom.

Recap: 'Convince' or 'Persuade'

Here is a quick recap of what you learned about the difference between 'convince' or 'persuade':

  • 'Convince' is a verb that means to cause someone to agree with you through persuasion or arguing your point.
  • 'Persuade' is a verb that means to move someone towards a specific opinion, choice, or action through argument or respectful request. 
  • 'Convince' and 'persuade' are synonyms; you can use them interchangeably in most texts. 

When it comes to these two terms, you do not have to remember which is which because their meanings are almost identical. Nevertheless, if you need help with these words or any other English terms, you can visit the confusing words section here to verify their meaning and learn how to use them.

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Written By:
Amy Gilmore
Amy Gilmore is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. She has been a professional writer and editor for the past eight years. She developed a love of language arts and literature in school and decided to become a professional freelance writer after a demanding career in real estate. Amy is constantly learning to become a better writer and loves sharing tips with other writers who want to do the same.

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