Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between “Tend To” and “Intend To”

“Tend To” vs “Intend To”

Both “tend” and “intend” are transition verbs which are very close to each other but may not be used in place of each other without changing the meaning of the sentence.

“Tend To”

“Tend” is a transitive verb. According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary the word “tend” originated around the 14th century, and its use in Middle English was as the short form of “attenden” which means “to attend.”

“Tend to” may be used in two forms; with an object and without an object. When used without an object, it has following meanings:

  • To be inclined in operation, effect, or action to do something. For example, “The atomic entities tend to unite.”
  • To be influenced in the direction of a particular idea, way of thinking, or emotion. As in, “Paula tends to be overly optimistic. I tend to think much more about the tragedy than I usually used to.”
  • To have a tendency to lean towards a particular degree, state, or quality. For example, this wine tends to be towards the sweeter side. “
  • To be directed in a specific direction.

When used with an object the word “tend” is not followed by “to.”

The following are a few general statements of the phrase “tend to.”

  • “The Parliament tends to focus on the growth of the economy which will, in turn, lead to an increase in the average income of people.”
  • In the covalent bonding, the atoms tend to carry a partial positive or a partial negative charge which causes the formation of a chemical bond.

“Intend To”

“Intend” is also a transitive verb. It is also used with and without an object. When used as a verb without an object “to” is often omitted.

The usage of “intend” is traced back to the 13th century. It is supposed to have originated from the French word “intendere” which means “to stretch towards” or “to aim at.”

“Intend to” may be used in various forms as:

  • To have something in mind as an idea or a plan. For example, “The scientists intend to launch the satellite in the coming month.”
  • To mean or be supported for a specific purpose, recipient, or use. For example, “The expenditure of the Prime Minister’s fund is intended to Tsunami relief.”
  • To refer to or express or indicate.
  • To mean.
  • To direct.

Here are a few examples explaining the use of “intend to”:

  • “Sam intended to learn the outcomes of the clauses mentioned in Section 6.”
  • “The new Vice President of the company intends to replace the existing mechanism of the machinery.”


  1. “Tend to” and “intend to” sound very similar to each other, but they are different in usage.
  2. “Tend to” is used when a person has an inclination or is influenced by some external source while “intend to” is used in reference to a person’s own thoughts and mind. It refers to a plan devised by someone.

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