Distinguishing Between Intent & Intend

Key Difference – Intent vs Intend

Although the words intend and intent appear similar, there is a distinction between them. First, let’s define the two words. Intent can be understood as an intention or purpose that a person has. On the other hand, intend refers to an aim or plan that a person has. This is the main difference between the two words. In this article, we will examine this difference through examples.

What is Intent?

Intent refers to an intention or purpose. This is a noun. It can be used when one wants to talk about something that a person wants to achieve. Let’s understand the usage through an example:

It was not my intent to hurt you.

Here, the speaker emphasizes that he or she did not mean to hurt the person being addressed. Notice how the word intent has been used to bring out the idea of a purpose. Let’s observe another example:

Through the presentation of another character, the intent of the author becomes quite conspicuous.

Once again, the word intent highlights something that the author wants to achieve through the use of a character.

Intent followed by the preposition ‘on’ can be used as an adjective. For example:

She was intent on finishing off the work today itself, as she has several plans for the following day.

Unlike in the earlier examples, when ‘intent’ is used as an adjective, it brings out a different meaning. In the example presented above, it emphasizes the eagerness and concentration of the individual. Now let’s move on to the next word.

What is Intend?

Intend can be defined in two ways. It can either be considered as having one’s aim or plan, or it can be defined as planning a particular role, use, or meaning for. Intend is a verb. Let’s examine the usage through some examples:

I intend to leave the city for a while.

In the example, intending to highlights a plan that the individual has.

I don’t think he intended to offend you in any way.

Once again, ‘intend to’ has been used to give the idea that the individual did not plan to.

I intend to write a book about it.

In this case, ‘intend to’ has been used to reveal an aim that the individual has. As you can see, although the twos appear to be similar, when it comes to usage, there is a difference. This difference can be summarized as follows:

Key Takeaways

  • Intent refers to an intention or purpose, while intend refers to an aim or plan a person has.
  • Intent is a noun and can also be used as an adjective, while intend is a verb.
  • Intent is used when a person wishes to speak of a purpose or to denote concentration, while intend is used to refer to a plan.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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