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Thread: Act or Law?

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
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    Smile Act or Law?


    I have a problem here. In my last friday translation classes (Introduction to English-Spanish translation) asked me what is the difference between act and law, and when are this terms what context.

    Thanks a lot..


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: Act or Law?

    Welcome to the forums.

    Act = formal decision made by a parliament or other group of elected law-makers

    Law = a rule, usually made by a government, that is used to order the way in which a society behaves, or the whole system of such rules.

    A ratified Act becomes Law.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    Harmless drudge
    English Teacher
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    Re: Act or Law?

    ... and before it's an Act it's a Bill.


  2. banderas's Avatar
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    Re: Act or Law?

    In general, we have a bill first. If the bill is passed, it becomes an act. When the act comes into force, then it becomes law.

    In colloquial speech, law is a general term:
    No one is above the law.
    What you did was clearly against the law.
    whereas act is more specific:
    The company had breached the 1994 Companies Act.


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