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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default agree on and agree to

    Dear teachers,

    I find it difficult to distinguish 'agree on' and 'agree to' in the following sentence:

    It is all a matter of vocabulary probably, for no two scholars have ever agreed on a definition of magic.

    I consulted my dictionaries which read that when we use 'agree to' we mean to have the same opinion. When we use 'agree on' we mean after discussion people decide something.

    Could you please kindly tell me if there is any difference if I use 'agree to' instead of 'agree on'?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear teachers,

    I find it difficult to distinguish 'agree on' and 'agree to' in the following sentence:

    It is all a matter of vocabulary probably, for no two scholars have ever agreed on a definition of magic.

    I consulted my dictionaries which read that when we use 'agree to' we mean to have the same opinion. When we use 'agree on' we mean after discussion people decide something.

    Could you please kindly tell me if there is any difference if I use 'agree to' instead of 'agree on'?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    When two or more people "agree on" something, they have the same opinion about a thing.

    John says the Giants will win the Superbowl. We agree on that.

    When two or more people "agree to" an action, they have come to an agreement about an action involving an issue, proposal, decision etc.

    John proposed that all members pay $2 a week in dues. The members agreed to pay the dues.

    People can also "agree to" a proposal, but they can also "agree with" a proposal.

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    :?
    So we can say 'agree to a proposal' which means we agree to act on the proposal or put it to action. When we say 'agree on a proposal' it only means we have the same opinion, which has nothing to do with actions.
    I can't use 'agree to' in my cited sentence because you can't act on a definition. Am I right?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    Dear teachers,

    I find it difficult to distinguish 'agree on' and 'agree to' in the following sentence:

    It is all a matter of vocabulary probably, for no two scholars have ever agreed on a definition of magic.

    I consulted my dictionaries which read that when we use 'agree to' we mean to have the same opinion. When we use 'agree on' we mean after discussion people decide something.

    Could you please kindly tell me if there is any difference if I use 'agree to' instead of 'agree on'?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    When two or more people "agree on" something, they have the same opinion about a thing.

    John says the Giants will win the Superbowl. We agree on that.

    When two or more people "agree to" an action, they have come to an agreement about an action involving an issue, proposal, decision etc.

    John proposed that all members pay $2 a week in dues. The members agreed to pay the dues.

    People can also "agree to" a proposal, but they can also "agree with" a proposal.

  4. #4
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :?
    So we can say 'agree to a proposal' which means we agree to act on the proposal or put it to action. When we say 'agree on a proposal' it only means we have the same opinion, which has nothing to do with actions.
    I can't use 'agree to' in my cited sentence because you can't act on a definition. Am I right?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    There can be some overlap there, but I agree with your statement. IMO, "agree to" a proposal should be used by the people who accept a proposal made by someone else.

    John and Mary received a proposal from a real estate agent. John and Mary agreed on the proposal (they both liked it) and then agreed to the proposal (the accepted the offer).

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    :D
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :?
    So we can say 'agree to a proposal' which means we agree to act on the proposal or put it to action. When we say 'agree on a proposal' it only means we have the same opinion, which has nothing to do with actions.
    I can't use 'agree to' in my cited sentence because you can't act on a definition. Am I right?

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang
    There can be some overlap there, but I agree with your statement. IMO, "agree to" a proposal should be used by the people who accept a proposal made by someone else.

    John and Mary received a proposal from a real estate agent. John and Mary agreed on the proposal (they both liked it) and then agreed to the proposal (the accepted the offer).

  6. #6
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :D
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.
    You always make my day, Jiang. :D

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    :)
    I spent a minute to consult the phrase 'make one's day' and feel relieved that I don't bore you with my questions. Thank you for your kindness.

    How should I reply to ' You always make my day'?

    Best wishes,

    Jiang




    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :D
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.
    You always make my day, Jiang. :D

  8. #8
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: agree on and agree to

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang
    :)
    I spent a minute to consult the phrase 'make one's day' and feel relieved that I don't bore you with my questions. Thank you for your kindness.

    How should I reply to ' You always make my day'?

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    One could say:

    I'm glad.
    I try.
    or just a :D

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    I wouldn't recommend 'Of course' as an answer.

  10. #10
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
    MikeNewYork is offline VIP Member
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I wouldn't recommend 'Of course' as an answer.

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