Objective and subjective

Has someone ever asked you for your objective opinion? Or did they tell you to be “completely subjective”? The words subjective and objective are used in all kinds of contexts, from journalism to science to grammar, and are often presented as opposites. But what do they really mean? read on to get all the information about those terms.

DefinitionObjective means not to be influenced by an individual’s personal point of view: impartial (or at least trying to be impartial). Often used to describe things like observations, decisions, or reports that are based on unbiased analysisSubjective is used to describe something that exists in the mind of a person or that belongs to the views of an individual person. Everyone’s experience of an event is subjective, because each person’s circumstances and background are unique, leading to different interpretations.
Based onFacts and observationsAssumptions, beliefs, opinions
TruthProbableRelative to the subject
checkVerifiedNot verified
ReportSameIt varies greatly, from person to person, day to day.
Decision makingAndNo
Used inTextbooks and encyclopediasBlogs, social media comments and biographies

In most cases, it comes down to whether something is based on personal experience or verifiable facts . An opinion or point of view can be said to be objective or subjective, depending on how it was formed. We’re here to clarify all of that by explaining what each word means and how each one should be used.

What does subjective mean

In general terms, subjective is used to describe something that exists in the mind of a person or that belongs to the views of an individual . Sometimes subjective means almost the same as personal. Everyone’s experience of an event is subjective, because each person’s circumstances and background are unique, leading to different interpretations.

Subjective observation focuses on a person’s own mind and perspectives , rather than being general, universal, or scientific. In this way, describing an observation as subjective often implies that it comes with (or is based on) personal biases. In philosophy, subjective specifically means relating to an object as it exists in the mind, as opposed to the thing as it exists in reality (the thing itself). All perception is based on your mind, so your perception of a thing is ultimately subjective.

What does objective mean

In most of its common uses, the objective is contrasted with the subjective , often as if it were the opposite. Generally, objective means not being influenced by an individual’s personal point of view : impartial (or at least trying to be impartial). It is often used to describe things like observations, decisions, or reports that are based on unbiased analysis.

Something that is truly objective has nothing to do with a person’s feelings or views, it is only about facts . When someone says “Objectively speaking,” they are indicating that they are giving an unbiased assessment, not one based on their personal preferences. Journalists are trained to be as objective as possible when reporting, to set aside their opinions and simply record and present the facts. This is called objectivity .

In grammar, the term target applies to words that function as objects: the recipients of actions. In the sentence “The dog ate my homework,” the word homework is in the objective case (which means that it is the object, the recipient, of the action). The word subjective, on the other hand, is applied to a word that is the subject of the sentence (in the example given, the dog is the subject, the one who performs the action).

Objective is also commonly used as a noun that means a goal or objective, as in “The objective of this article is to teach you about the difference between objective and subjective.”

Examples of subjective and objective

Let’s think about some scenarios in which something could be classified as subjective or objective:

  • Suppose you are a restaurant critic. There may be certain foods that you subjectively dislike, some that you simply don’t like. But when criticizing dishes, you need to put aside your subjective tastes and be objective about what you eat, making objective judgments about things like how it is cooked and seasoned and how the ingredients work together. Even if you are served a dish that you subjectively dislike, it is your job to objectively assess its quality.
  • In a scientific experiment, your hypothesis might be based, at least in part, on your subjective opinion of what the results will be. But science is about being completely objective when collecting data and drawing conclusions based on the data.
  • In everyday life, your objective opinion is one that sets aside your subjective preferences or feelings about something and instead evaluates it based on facts and reality.
  • All art is subjective: each one has its own personal interpretation.
  • We want to record your subjective opinions on the subject, so be honest.
  • You can always count on her for an objective opinion, no matter what her personal feelings are.
  • Although my objective assessment is that the book is poorly written, I can’t help but love its enemies-to-friends plot.
  • The first part of the task is an objective analysis of the data; the second part is an essay on your subjective reaction.

How to use the term subjective and objective

Use subjective when speaking of an opinion or feeling that is based on an individual’s perspective or preferences.

Use the objective when talking about something, such as an evaluation, a decision or a report, that is unbiased and based solely on observable or verifiable facts .

Trick to remember the difference

Various genres of writing require an objective or subjective voice. With regard to the words themselves, use objective for an unbiased observation, independent of personal points of view, and subjective for a biased evaluation, influenced by personal opinion.

Here’s a helpful trick for remembering subjective versus objective. Since both the objective and the observation begin with the letter O , you can use this letter to match the words in your mind. Also, both subjective and feelings contain the letter S , which you can use as an additional mnemonic.


It is important to know the difference between the two terms, but the words subjective and objective are not used as often. However, the concepts of subjectivity and objectivity are of great importance in journalism, science, literature, philosophy, and many other areas. Whether something is subjective or objective can lead to a lot of debate, and a good philosopher could probably convince you that nothing is truly objective. However, away from the worlds of science and philosophy, we simply must remember that subjective is about personal opinions and interpretations, while objective is about objective and unbiased observations .

We have reached the end of the differentiating article between the subjective and objective terms. We hope you have been able to understand the difference and have no doubts about it. If you want to ask us something, just leave us a comment at the end of the post, we will respond as soon as possible.

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