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    #1

    of its (their) own accord

    Dear teachers,

    Would you share with me your opinion concerning the interpretation of the expressions in bold in the following sentences?

    Your lungs cannot expand and shrink of their own accord.

    The words were shaping themselves of their own accord. (R. Kipling, “The Light That Failed”)

    Fluther (opening and shutting door) It’s better than a new one, now. Miss Chiteroe; it’s almost ready to open and shut of its own accord. (S. O’Casey, “The Plough and the Stars”)

    of its (their) own accord = independently, single-handed

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

  1. apex2000's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Independently, without any intervention from another source.
    Not - single handed.
    In the case of 'words' it would be where a person was not consciously thinking of certain words but where they just 'popped' into their consciousness.

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    #3

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Does "of it's own accord" mean the same as "on it's own"?

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    #4

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Hi Khosro,

    I know, there is in this “imperfect” and “muddled” language another very close expression, namely “ of one’s own accord”.

    I’m leaving, but I’ll leave when I’m ready, and of my own accord. (E. Caldwell, “ Tragic Ground”)

    Nobby realized that he would be forcibly thrown out any minute if he didn’t hurry and leave in his own accord. (E. Caldwell, “This Very Earth”)

    Dora of her own accord suggested that she might now have some talks with Mother Clare. (I. Murdock, “The Bell”)

    of one’s own accord = voluntarily, of one’s free will, on one’s own initiative, without prompting or coercion, of one's own free will

    of one's own accord: Information from Answers.com

    Thank you for your empathy.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #5

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Does "of it's own accord" mean the same as "on it's own"?
    Sidenote correction: be sure not to use "it's" in this case. It should be "its"

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    #6

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Does "of it's own accord" mean the same as "on it's own"?
    I am not a teacher.

    It can; "(all) by itself" is another one. And allenman is right about the apostrophes.

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    #7

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Quote Originally Posted by Khosro View Post
    Does "of it's own accord" mean the same as "on it's own"?
    No. Do be careful to understand the use of the apostrophe.
    John's house. All the Johns celebrated together.
    There is a particular difficulty with its which for some reason frequently causes confusion.
    It's is the contraction of it is. Unless you mean 'it is' then never use the apostrophe.

    Now, 'of its own accord' does not mean the same as ' on its own'. The former means something done without intervention from anywhere else; the latter means that something is done alone, separate from anything else. This is a fine difference which requires a greater understanding of English usage.

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    #8

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Your lungs cannot expand and shrink of their own accord.

    The words were shaping themselves of their own accord. (R. Kipling, “The Light That Failed”)

    Fluther (opening and shutting door) It’s better than a new one, now. Miss Chiteroe; it’s almost ready to open and shut of its own accord. (S. O’Casey, “The Plough and the Stars”)
    First let's just consider objects, non-humans, such as "lungs", "words", "fluther" in the sentences above. Though they might be also different in their non-humanity.

    Is it okay to substitute "by themselves" and "by itself" in the sentences above?

    Is it okay to substitute "on their own" and "on its own" in the sentences above? apexs' answer to this second question is negative.

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    #9

    Re: of its (their) own accord

    Yes, you can say 'Your lungs cannot expand and shrink by themselves' and 'it’s almost ready to open and shut by itself'.
    You can also use 'on their own', and 'on its own'. The fine difference in interpretation I stated previously was in direct response to your other question concerning 'accord'.

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