While working with user interfaces, I find myself dealing with two usual interfaces:

  • one that asks the user to confirm that they are aware of the action that's going to be performed,
  • and the second that comes directly after it, the interface that tells (confirms to) the user that the action had been performed (and either succeeded or failed).

We usually refer to both of the interfaces with the same name: confirmation screen, card, etc.. but that is some what confusing.

So I am looking for two words that would mean "confirm" except one would imply that we are waiting for the confirmation to happen, while the second gives a statement of confirmation.

Any suggestions please? thank you

  • Good question. Your first box asks for agreement by clicking Yes, and the second one confirms the system's action. Nov 26 '21 at 15:17
  • 1
    "User confirmation" and "System confirmation" seem logical.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 26 '21 at 15:34
  • Someone waiting to be confirmed in the religious sense is known as a confirmand. Nov 26 '21 at 15:48
  • 1
    @EdwinAshworth: We'll keep that in mind for the church app :-) Nov 26 '21 at 16:42
  • The confirmation page is typically that system-generated acknowledgment that the user's submittal has been received. The user's submittal page could be named after whatever the user is submitting: acknowledgment page, agreement page, release of liability page, pay now page, etc. Nov 26 '21 at 16:54

Both the cases you describe are examples of confirmation.

"Confirm" has two meanings, that of stating that something is indeed true or correct, or of asking someone to state that something is true or correct. Native English speakers understand both usages.

The second meaning is also called "asking for confirmation".

So if you wanted to distinguish you could say that the system "asks for confirmation" that the user wanted to delete a file, and that the user then "confirms" that they wish to delete the file.


To explain the dual meaning: Imagine that someone has made a restaurant booking, but the restaurant is uncertain that it is real. They call the person and may say:

I'm just confirming that you made a booking for today.

and the person replies

Yes I confirm that I made that booking.

It is possible that you consider that they are one meaning, but they are different enough (asking versus stating) that I wanted to make it clear they are both valid uses of the word.

  • It is not clear why you think that these are two distinct meanings of the word. It seems to me that confirm has the very same meaning in 'I (hereby) confirm' and 'please confirm'; it's just that the second formulation uses it in the imperative. I don't think that confirm ever has the sense of asking to confirm.
    – jsw29
    Nov 26 '21 at 19:25
  • I know both usages are valid, but I want to distinguish one from the other
    – mockingjay
    Nov 27 '21 at 21:52
  • I would analyse the example of 'I'm just confirming that you have a booking today' as one in which the verb confirm stands for the restaurant employee's entering something on the restaurant's computer. So interpreted, the verb itself does not stand stand for the act of asking the customer anything (although asking the customer whether the employee should go ahead with the confirmation is implied by the utterance as a whole). I admit, though, that it is debatable whether that analysis or the one offered in the answer is better.
    – jsw29
    Nov 28 '21 at 16:10
  • But the phrase applies when you are not entering something in a database. In fact if what they are confirming is true, then no changes are made to the database. You might call a friend and say "Just before I set out, can I confirm that you said we would meet at the park." A bit formal but valid English. And no "changes" are being made to anything. Nov 28 '21 at 16:27

Affirm (defined by Lexico) 1reporting verb State as a fact; assert strongly and publicly. with object ‘he affirmed the country's commitment to peace’ More example sentencesSynonyms declare, state, assert, aver, proclaim, pronounce, attest, swear, avow, vow, guarantee, promise, certify, pledge, give one's word, give an undertaking View synonyms 1.1with object Declare one's support for; uphold; defend. ‘the referendum affirmed the republic's right to secede’ More example sentencesSynonyms 1.2Law with object Accept or confirm the validity of (a judgment or agreement); ratify. ‘Judgment in favor of patentee respecting validity issues was affirmed on interlocutory appeal, in suit against the parent.’ More example sentencesSynonyms corroborate, bear out, verify, show the truth of, prove, validate, authenticate, substantiate, give substance to, justify, vouch for, vindicate, give credence to, support, uphold, back up View synonyms 1.3Law no object Make a formal declaration rather than taking an oath (e.g., to testify truthfully). ‘Perhaps, Madam Interpreter, rather than affirming or swearing you, it may be sufficient for the moment if you would explain to the applicant that I propose to send the case of him and his wife to the Federal Court.’ More example sentencesSynonyms swear, state under oath, swear under oath, swear on the Bible, take an oath, pledge, promise, affirm, avow, undertake, give an undertaking, engage, commit, commit oneself, make a commitment, give one's word, give one's word of honour, give an assurance, guarantee View synonyms 1.4Law with object (of a court) uphold (a decision) on appeal. ‘The eighth circuit court of Appeals affirmed this ruling and further stated that there was a trend toward improvement; however, scores were still below the national norms.’ More example sentences 2with object Offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement. ‘there are five common ways parents fail to affirm their children’ More example sentences 2.1Give (life) a heightened sense of value, typically through the experience of something emotionally or spiritually uplifting. ‘it is a rich and challenging motion picture that both affirms life and emphasizes its fragility’

  • Welcome to SE-EL&U. Your answer is virtually unreadable and contains many irrelevancies. Could you edit it?
    – Greybeard
    Nov 27 '21 at 21:23

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