Are obvious and evident totally synonymous? I've noticed that both are generally translated to the same French word. However, as a native English speaker I kinda interpret them differently; obvious indicates that something should be known to people already because it is common knowledge, or because it doesn't require complex thought to determine, whereas evident suggests that something is obvious because there is a lot of evidence showing its truth. Do others make this distinction or am I alone here? :-)
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I'm not a native speaker, but my interpretation is this:
The presence of an elephant in a room is usually obvious.
The presence of a mouse in a room is evident, but you might be able to miss it if you don't look close enough.
I think you are right
Colloquially speaking, you are correct, Jez. There is a distinction, with obvious describing something that is not just evident, but readily understood to be so.
If you ask me, evident is the more descriptive word, as it objectively characterizes an event or set of circumstances. Obvious, on the other hand, says more about the person who uses the word than the circumstances that he or she is trying to describe.