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  1. kilroy65's Avatar
    English Teacher
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    compulsory and mandatory

    "When I was 19, I had to do ________ military service." (that was the law)

    Which one would be more appropriate:
    1. compulsory
    2. mandatory

    Intuitively, I've used 1. in my CV. However, I decided to look it up in various dictionaries and the deeper I go, the more confused I become. Ngram isn't much help either.

  2. Member
    Student or Learner
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    Re: compulsory and mandatory

    I am not a teacher

    I would prefer mandatory if something is demanded by the law

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
    Retired English Teacher
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      • British English
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      • England
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    Re: compulsory and mandatory

    They are both possible. I would probably use "compulsory".
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

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