What is the difference between a "referral", a "reference", and a "recommendation"?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago
    Favourite answer

    They mean many different things in different contexts. 

    A referral is the process by which a doctor sends you to a specialist.

    A reference might be a previous employers statement describing their experience of an employee (may be good or bad). Also the source of information used (referred to) in an academic paper. 

    A recommendation is positively suggesting a course of action, or endorsing a person.

  • 2 months ago

    reference=some source that can be checked if the person wants to check.

    referral=another person has sent you because they think you fit what that other does, in some way.

    recommendation=evaluation of the person that discusses what they do well and why they might be good for whatever it is (and generally does not discuss what they do poorly; it is not a critique, not a full evaluation, only a listing of what they do that the other might find useful).

  • 2 months ago

    If you see a doctor or lawyer professionally and they send you to another doctor or lawyer better suited to deal with a particular problem, that is a referral.

    If you advise someone to do something or to choose a particular person or product, that is a recommendation.

    A reference can be just the mention of something, or even hinting at something ("His remark about demented politicians was an obvious reference to Trump"). It can also be a source of information, as in a footnote or a bibliography.

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