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    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #1

    "allow" and "permit"

    Hello.

    1. In the US, the law allows possession of a gun.
    2. In the US, the law permits possession of a gun.

    Do both sound good and mean the same thing?

    Thank you.


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #2

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Hello.

    1. In the US, the law allows possession of a gun.
    2. In the US, the law permits possession of a gun.

    Do both sound good and mean the same thing?

    Thank you.
    Yes, they do.

    It's worth noting that "allow" is sometimes used in combination with "for", as in "allow for". If you haven't already, I think this is a practical thing to jot down in your notebook.



    Also, I think that "allow" is more likely used for ordinary and everyday topics of conversation. This is just a guess. One really can't say for sure. I think it's likely that "permit" is often used for official announcements and notifications. Once again, this is a guess. One really can't say for sure.

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    #3

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    I agree that "permit" is more formal/official.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #4

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    Smoking is not permitted in the room.
    Smoking is not allowed in the room.

    Do both sound good? Is it just that the first sounds more formal?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #5

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Smoking is not permitted in the room.
    Smoking is not allowed in the room.

    Do both sound good? Is it just that the first sounds more formal?
    They both sound good. This is such a common announcement posted on signs that I don't believe I could say one is more formal than the other. Generally speaking, announcements stating rules of any sort will tend to sound formal or official anyway.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #6

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    His blood alcohol exceeded the permitted level.

    Can I use "allowed" in place of permitted?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #7

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    His blood alcohol exceeded the permitted level.

    Can I use "allowed" in place of permitted?
    I suppose it's technically correct, but I wouldn't. It sounds much better and typical as it is. I would say so because this statement is an official statement. I think official-sounding statements typically use "permit" instead of "allow", as I said in a previous post.



    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 1,157
    #8

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    Thank you, PROESL.

    Are there any occations in which you prefer "the allowed level" to "the permitted level"?


    • Join Date: Jul 2009
    • Posts: 2,036
    #9

    Re: "allow" and "permit"

    Quote Originally Posted by Daruma View Post
    Thank you, PROESL.

    Are there any occations in which you prefer "the allowed level" to "the permitted level"?
    I can't think of any. However, I would keep in mind that I'm not saying "allowed level" is impossible. It just seems less likely and less typical to me. If an ELL wanted me to critique his or her writing in such a context as this, I would say use "permitted level". I wouldn't find it entirely surprising to read "allowed level" in native speaker writing. It's possible, but, once again, less typical in my opinion.

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