Age of Majority "legally mature persons"

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NorwegianReader

New Member
Scandinavian - Norway
Dear all,

Is there a better way of referring to "persons who have reached the age of majority" i.e. are old enough to vote? The context is a political philosophy text which has been translated from German and which I am now proof reading. "Legally mature persons" and "mature citizens" are both used in the text , but to me, neither of these alternatives seem suitable.

Thank you in advance!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Hi and welcome to the forum.
    I am not sure I would use "persons" at all. Can you give us a complete sentence that you are struggling with.
    I'd agree mature and legally mature do not ususally suggest the right to vote "age" that you are after. Far too widely used in other ways, basically.

    The age of majority is certainly a well-established set-phrase, so I guess you (or the author/translator) has been trying to avoid repetition?
     

    NorwegianReader

    New Member
    Scandinavian - Norway
    Thank you Retired-teacher. I take this to mean that there is no shorter saying the same? "people who have reached the age to (be allowed to) vote" is quite a long sentence subject. I was looking for a shorter term. Is there for instance a legal term that could cover it?
     

    NorwegianReader

    New Member
    Scandinavian - Norway
    Thanks Suzi br. This is the sentence
    "*Mature citizens* in modern democracies ought to be adequately educated and enlightened."
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    My first thought was 'legal adults'. My second thought was "don't google for 'legal adults' while at work". My current thought is that there are sometimes different legal ages for voting, having sex, getting married, buying alcohol, and so on, so there's no obvious antonym to the legal term 'minor'.
     

    Retired-teacher

    Senior Member
    British English
    There could be a problem with "legal adults". This description could apply to people responsible for their own actions in breaking the law but, in some countries, still not old enough to vote. It is true that in Britain and many other countries it is the same age, 18, but is it in all countries? There was a time in the early 20th century when people were legally adult at 21 in Britain but could not vote until 30.

    Also, of course, members of the House of Lords, are legally adult but not entitled to vote. This may be peculiar to Britain alone.
     
    Last edited:

    NorwegianReader

    New Member
    Scandinavian - Norway
    After consulting the (free) legal dictionary, I think "legal adult" will serve the purpose I am after. (Although you are right, Retired-teacher, that there are exeptions. Members of the Royal Family do not have the a right to vote, but they are concidered legal adults, and thus they are allowed to drive a car)
    "Adult
    A person who by virtue of attaining a certain age, generally eighteen, is regarded in the eyes of the law as being able tomanage his or her own affairs.

    The age specified by law, called the legal age of majority, indicates that a person acquires full legal capacity to be bound by various documents, such as contracts and deeds, that he or she makes with others and to commit other legal acts such as voting in elections and entering marriage. The age at which a person becomes an adult varies from state to state and often varies within a state, depending upon the nature of the action taken by the person. Thus, a person wishing to obtain alicense to operate a motor vehicle may be
    considered an adult at age sixteen, but may not reach adulthood until ageeighteen for purposes of marriage, or age twenty one for purposes of purchasing intoxicating liquors."
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    If you are speaking generally of people who have the right to vote, then you could say "voters".
    Voters should be mature enough to know the difference between what a government can do, and what is impossible.

    If you want something more age-specific, say "people old enough to vote."
    People old enough to vote should know the difference between fantasy and reality.
     
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