Act or Law?

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AlejandraRivera

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Apr 11, 2008
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Hello!

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 used...in what context.

Thanks a lot..

Alejandra.:)
 

Anglika

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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.
 

BobK

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

b
 

banderas

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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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