Is it formal to use "jump to conclusions" in a sentence ?

e.g. We cannot jump to the conclusion that apples are all red.

  • 1
    It should be okay if you use the idiom precisely - and your example doesn't. You might get away with "We must not jump to conclusions and insist that all apples are red." The idiom is often used to signal a list of repercussions is forthcoming.
    – Phil Sweet
    Aug 30, 2016 at 2:19
  • The phrase "jump to conclusions" is idiomatic in English and (I strongly suspect) appears in writing pitched at many different levels of formality. As Phil Sweet observes, the most important issue involved in using an idiom such as "jump to conclusions" is to express it in the normal way a native English speaker would (which in this case means using the plural form conclusions and not the singular form as you do in your question title) and with its generally understood meaning (which here is essentially "reach a conclusion without adequate caution, evidence, or thought").
    – Sven Yargs
    Aug 30, 2016 at 8:06
  • Jump to a conclusion in English is not informal or formal. It means you have not thought about the subject matter in an in-depth manner. It is not the same as coming to a conclusion after giving a matter serious thought....In fact, at meetings, a person might say: Let's not jump to the conclusion that [x is true]. We need to give it serious thought.
    – Lambie
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


I think the expression is old and common enough to be able to be used either in informal as well formal contexts:

Jump to conclusions:

  • Form an opinion or judgment hastily, as in Wait till you have the facts; don't jump to a conclusion. [c. 1700 ].

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary

If you check its usages in Google Books you can find its usage is formal contexts such as: From Cognitive Remediation Therapy for Schizophrenia: Theory and Practice:

  • This finding is consistent with the suggestion of a greater influence of immediate environmental stimuli in people with schizophrenia relative to the effects of prior learning; thus, they may jump to conclusions about the meaning of events. A lack of spontaneous behaviour is said to reflect avoidant coping strategies employed to ...

To come to or arrive at a conclusion means you think about something and end up with a conclusion.

To jump to a conclusion means you did not think about something and ended up with a conclusion. The two things do not mean the same thing!

This is the kind of question that one can answer as an educated native speaker of English without recourse to dictionaries.

  • Yes, but OP question is not about the difference between jump and come to a conclusion.
    – user66974
    Aug 30, 2016 at 9:04
  • @Josh61 The OP doesn't realize there is a difference and the difference is not formal and informal. The difference is semantic. If you jump to a conclusion in English you are not THINKING much about whatever the subject of your thoughts are. In English, you would never say JUMP to a conclusion if something is thought out properly....I mean....
    – Lambie
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:30
  • fair point, but I think that the formal/informal question is reasonable, it does "sound" informal and I understand the point.
    – user66974
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:34
  • No, it is not reasonable. The question was asked because the OP doesn't know the difference between jump to a conclusion and come to a conclusion. If she had, she would not have asked the question. It has a very specific meaning and can be used in very formal situations (like a litigation brief, say) to mean not thought out in depth.
    – Lambie
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:38
  • I don't know how you can say what OP knows or does not know.
    – user66974
    Aug 30, 2016 at 13:41

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