agree on and agree to

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jiang

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Dear teachers,

I find it difficult to distinguish 'agree on' and 'agree to' in the following sentence:

It is all a matter of vocabulary probably, for no two scholars have ever agreed on a definition of magic.

I consulted my dictionaries which read that when we use 'agree to' we mean to have the same opinion. When we use 'agree on' we mean after discussion people decide something.

Could you please kindly tell me if there is any difference if I use 'agree to' instead of 'agree on'?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang
 

MikeNewYork

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jiang said:
Dear teachers,

I find it difficult to distinguish 'agree on' and 'agree to' in the following sentence:

It is all a matter of vocabulary probably, for no two scholars have ever agreed on a definition of magic.

I consulted my dictionaries which read that when we use 'agree to' we mean to have the same opinion. When we use 'agree on' we mean after discussion people decide something.

Could you please kindly tell me if there is any difference if I use 'agree to' instead of 'agree on'?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang

When two or more people "agree on" something, they have the same opinion about a thing.

John says the Giants will win the Superbowl. We agree on that.

When two or more people "agree to" an action, they have come to an agreement about an action involving an issue, proposal, decision etc.

John proposed that all members pay $2 a week in dues. The members agreed to pay the dues.

People can also "agree to" a proposal, but they can also "agree with" a proposal.
 

jiang

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:?
So we can say 'agree to a proposal' which means we agree to act on the proposal or put it to action. When we say 'agree on a proposal' it only means we have the same opinion, which has nothing to do with actions.
I can't use 'agree to' in my cited sentence because you can't act on a definition. Am I right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang
MikeNewYork said:
jiang said:
Dear teachers,

I find it difficult to distinguish 'agree on' and 'agree to' in the following sentence:

It is all a matter of vocabulary probably, for no two scholars have ever agreed on a definition of magic.

I consulted my dictionaries which read that when we use 'agree to' we mean to have the same opinion. When we use 'agree on' we mean after discussion people decide something.

Could you please kindly tell me if there is any difference if I use 'agree to' instead of 'agree on'?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang

When two or more people "agree on" something, they have the same opinion about a thing.

John says the Giants will win the Superbowl. We agree on that.

When two or more people "agree to" an action, they have come to an agreement about an action involving an issue, proposal, decision etc.

John proposed that all members pay $2 a week in dues. The members agreed to pay the dues.

People can also "agree to" a proposal, but they can also "agree with" a proposal.
 

MikeNewYork

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jiang said:
:?
So we can say 'agree to a proposal' which means we agree to act on the proposal or put it to action. When we say 'agree on a proposal' it only means we have the same opinion, which has nothing to do with actions.
I can't use 'agree to' in my cited sentence because you can't act on a definition. Am I right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang

There can be some overlap there, but I agree with your statement. IMO, "agree to" a proposal should be used by the people who accept a proposal made by someone else.

John and Mary received a proposal from a real estate agent. John and Mary agreed on the proposal (they both liked it) and then agreed to the proposal (the accepted the offer).
 

jiang

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:D
Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.

Jiang
MikeNewYork said:
jiang said:
:?
So we can say 'agree to a proposal' which means we agree to act on the proposal or put it to action. When we say 'agree on a proposal' it only means we have the same opinion, which has nothing to do with actions.
I can't use 'agree to' in my cited sentence because you can't act on a definition. Am I right?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Thank you in advance.

Jiang

There can be some overlap there, but I agree with your statement. IMO, "agree to" a proposal should be used by the people who accept a proposal made by someone else.

John and Mary received a proposal from a real estate agent. John and Mary agreed on the proposal (they both liked it) and then agreed to the proposal (the accepted the offer).
 

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jiang said:
:D
Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.

You always make my day, Jiang. :D
 

jiang

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:)
I spent a minute to consult the phrase 'make one's day' and feel relieved that I don't bore you with my questions. Thank you for your kindness.

How should I reply to ' You always make my day'?

Best wishes,

Jiang




MikeNewYork said:
jiang said:
:D
Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I understand it perfectly.

You always make my day, Jiang. :D
 

MikeNewYork

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jiang said:
:)
I spent a minute to consult the phrase 'make one's day' and feel relieved that I don't bore you with my questions. Thank you for your kindness.

How should I reply to ' You always make my day'?

Best wishes,

Jiang

One could say:

I'm glad.
I try.
or just a :D
 

Tdol

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I wouldn't recommend 'Of course' as an answer. :lol:
 

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tdol said:
I wouldn't recommend 'Of course' as an answer. :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

jiang

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I see. It is like a bonus because we seldom come across such expressions in our textbook. Very interesting.

Jiang
MikeNewYork said:
jiang said:
:)
I spent a minute to consult the phrase 'make one's day' and feel relieved that I don't bore you with my questions. Thank you for your kindness.

How should I reply to ' You always make my day'?

Best wishes,

Jiang

One could say:

I'm glad.
I try.
or just a :D
 

jiang

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Could you please tell me if there something more between the posts of Mike and you? In other words, does ' Of course' implies anything?

Jiang

tdol said:
I wouldn't recommend 'Of course' as an answer. :lol:
 

Tdol

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No; it simply would be an arrogant and unacceptable answer. :lol:
 

jiang

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:D

Thank you for your reply. I see.

Jiang

tdol said:
No; it simply would be an arrogant and unacceptable answer. :lol:
 

blacknomi

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Hi, jiang,

I read your articles too. You always bring up good questions that make me stop to think. I want to say thank you to you.



To Mike, TDOL, RonBee:
How nice of you to answer our STRANGE questions. IMO, if you are not teachers, it's hard to ask a native speaker to explain rules because they just use English in a natural way. For me, the logic is the most profound to get it. Through your explanation, I need to learn to FEEL English. And thank you for providing us with such a fantastic website.

You always make my day as well.
(hehehe...actually i don't know the exact meaning of this idiom, but i know when to use it. I'll appreciate it if you can explain a bit.)


sabrina :hi:
 

MikeNewYork

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blacknomi said:
Hi, jiang,

I read your articles too. You always bring up good questions that make me stop to think. I want to say thank you to you.



To Mike, TDOL, RonBee:
How nice of you to answer our STRANGE questions. IMO, if you are not teachers, it's hard to ask a native speaker to explain rules because they just use English in a natural way. For me, the logic is the most profound to get it. Through your explanation, I need to learn to FEEL English. And thank you for providing us with such a fantastic website.

You always make my day as well.
(hehehe...actually i don't know the exact meaning of this idiom, but i know when to use it. I'll appreciate it if you can explain a bit.)


sabrina :hi:

"To make someone's day" means "to make the day better, brighter, happier, etc. It is a compliment. :wink:
 

henry

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MikeNewYork said:
"To make someone's day" means "to make the day better, brighter, happier, etc. It is a compliment. :wink:

Or simply: to make someone happy.

Reading Mike's complicated answers makes my day. :lol:

:D
 

MikeNewYork

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henry said:
MikeNewYork said:
"To make someone's day" means "to make the day better, brighter, happier, etc. It is a compliment. :wink:

Or simply: to make someone happy.

Reading Mike's complicated answers makes my day. :lol:

:D

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Tdol

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Someone reading Mike's answers makes his day.;-0
 

MikeNewYork

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tdol said:
Someone reading Mike's answers makes his day.;-0

But of course. :wink:
 
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