"in accordance with" VS "pursuant to" VS "according to"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by green_wind, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    Hi, there,
    what are the differences among "in accordance with" and "pursuant to" and "according to"?
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Just answering off the top of my head: :)

    "pursuant to" must follow some other action. "Pursuant to the new regulations recently passed regarding bubble gum-blowing, no bubbles may be blown that exceed 3 inches in diameter."

    "according to" is citing a reference. "According to the Bible, in the beginning was the Word."

    "in accordance with" is "in line with", "in agreement with" -- "in accordance with your wishes, I will no longer quote the Bible while blowing bubbles."
     
  3. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    The terms "in accordance with" and "pursuant to" are commonly, in fact almost exclusively, used in legalese. I could go into how they are different from "according to," but I should leave that to someone who is more familiar with the subtleties of legal language.
     
  4. chesty Senior Member

    english
    Hello. I'd love to hear it!
     
  5. rsweet

    rsweet Senior Member

    English, North America
    Actually, the examples given by JamesM sound valid. I've been spending a lot of time with lawyers lately and have dispaired of ever fully understanding what goes on in their shifty little brains and documents. :eek:
     
  6. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    Hello, just out of curiosity, what is the meaning of "off the top of my head"?
    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  7. chesty Senior Member

    english
    Hello. It usually means:

    - Without calculation; a bit of a guess; an estimate.

    Here, I think it means:

    - Without reference to the dictionary
     
  8. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    Yes. :) Another way to say it would be "impromptu", "extemporaneously", "on the fly". It means that no deep consderation or pondering is done; it's simply what first comes to mind.
     
  9. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    Thank you!
    But I am still confused with the differences among the three phases referred to?
    Could anyone give me more specific explanations?
     
  10. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    "In accordance with your request for an explanation (I am agreeing to respond to your request) and pursuant to the previous explanations (as a follow-up to the previous explanations), I am answering according to (quoting a reference) XYZ Book".
     
  11. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    I seem to have a clue.
    Then "according to" means "referring to". Right?
     
  12. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    Regarding "in accordance with" and "pursuant to", I meet a lot of expressions in legal English as "in accordance with This Agreement" and "pursuant to This Agreement", I thought they make the same sense in contract law.
     
  13. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    No, "in accordance with" this agreement basically means "in agreement with" (in accord). "Pursuant to this Agreement" means "further to" this agreement (subject to).
     
  14. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    Thank you for your kind patience, Dimcl.
    Can I comprehend "in accordance with" with the connotion "I agree", while "pursuant to" with the connotion "I have to obey"?
     
  15. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Yes, "in accordance with" means "in accord" (or agreement). But "pursuant to" means "further to". eg. one follows after another. That's why, in my example, I put "pursuant to the previous explanations". My answer was in relation to but following the other explanations.

    My response at this time is pursuant to your last question. ie. it is related to the subject but comes after your question.
     
  16. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    "in accordance with" and "pursuant to" can be used with the same meaning. Pursuant to the rules, I will delete this post", "In accordance with the rules I will delete this post".

    However there is a difference in meaning.

    In the first instance my action follows the rules. If the rules weren't there before I wouldn't delete it.
    There are rules. Following these rules I act. My act stems from the rules.

    In the second instance my action agrees with the rules. The rules are there and I (have to) agree with them.
    There are rules. Agreeing with these rules I act.


    There are times however when their meaning is different.
    To take Dmcl's excellent example:

    You made a request. I agree to answer.
    There have been other explanations before. In addition to these explanations I say...
    .

    I hope I helped and not complicated matters worse! It took me a while to understand legalese in Greek and I had two lawyers living in the same house with me (dad and bro)!
     
  17. green_wind Junior Member

    Shenzhen
    China Chinese
    Thank you all for your help.
    Now I am more confident in using these phrases.

    Thank you!
     
  18. dwnetom New Member

    SuZhou China
    Chinese - Simple
    Thanks you all !
    It seems this 3 phrases usually used in "Agreement" and "contract" .
     
  19. JTTr7762 New Member

    English - American
    Question: Does the phrase "in accordance with" include a time element? For example, if I am working to a contract that requires a task to be completed to a specified scope and timetable, but I miss the deadline, am I then prevented from saying (accurately) "in accordance with the contract terms"?
     
  20. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    It depends entirely on how the contract is written. If missing a deadline nullifies the agreement I would assume that you could no longer claim the contract terms as a basis for anything. If, however, there are contingencies built into the contract for missed deadlines, such as the person who is late must forfeit payment for that particular task, I can imagine "In accordance with the contract terms I will not be invoicing you for this task because I missed the deadline."

    I am not a lawyer.
     
  21. Tom Fennell

    Tom Fennell New Member

    English - US
    Also often used with laws, regulations, etc....pursuant to the Law on Joint-Stock Companies......Civil Code.....Government Resolution No. 42 of 3 January 2011....
     
  22. lamtuyen New Member

    Vietnamese
    OH, this is frustrating. I have so much to learn.
     
  23. carolmoraiss

    carolmoraiss Senior Member

    Brazil
    Portuguese
    So "in accordance with" is ok is this sentence? I'm pretty sure "sustainability and responsibility concepts" are not related to any legal document, though.

    The environmental management is a key aspect for XX Company, in accordance with the sustainability and responsibility concepts that guide all its operations.
     
  24. pbweill Junior Member

    English-USA
    Thank you all for your contributions, especially to James M, Dimcl, and ireney. I summarize what I've understood:

    In accordance with, In agreement with, In compliance with,

    Pursuant to, further to, subject to, following, as a result of
     
  25. Tom Fennell

    Tom Fennell New Member

    English - US
    Further reflection has caused me to discern another level of meaning:

    "Pursuant to" seems to refer more often to the general case: "Pursuant to the Patent Law, an applicant must file a full patent application within one year after filing a preliminary application."

    "In accordance with" refers to a particular instance: "In accordance with the Patent Law, the applicant filed the application within one year after filing the preliminary application."

    Comments anyone? (Especially any lawyers out there).
     
  26. pbweill Junior Member

    English-USA
    Tom: you said: ""Pursuant to" seems to refer more often to the general case: "Pursuant to the Patent Law, an applicant must file a full patent application within one year after filing a preliminary application." "In accordance with" refers to a particular instance: "In accordance with the Patent Law, the applicant filed the application within one year after filing the preliminary application."

    I don't agree. I think they are equally applicable to specific and general cases.

    According to what I have read, "pursuant to" means "because of" or "due to" with regard to a law, as in "Pursuant to (resulting from/due to) law 323, the defendant must file a motion to..." whereas "in accordance with" tends to mean "In compliance with" or "in agreement with." They are usually interchangeable, but to me the slight difference between "pursuant to" and "in compliance with" is noteworthy. Best of luck, P
     

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