'agree' - trans. or intrans.

Curious

New Member
Canada - English
I recently bought a book on the subject of learning to write better in English, published by Cambridge University Press. Throughout the book the authors use sentences such as "Make sure everyone agrees the theme" or "The class should all agree the main topics". I have never seen or heard the verb 'agree' used without 'on', 'with' , or 'to', except after a previously stated propositon, where it's common to reply "Yes, I agree" or "No, I don't agree". Can anyone speak for or against this usage in my otherwise wonderful book?
 
  • the tree

    Member
    England
    Well to my native ears that definately seems wrong.
    Edit: it could be right if the sentence was extended "the class should agree the topics are to thier liking"
     

    Rob625

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Agree' is usually intransitive. I find it more natural to say 'the class should agree on the main topics...'. The transitive usage sounds rather formal and legalistic.
     

    Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    The Compact Oxford English Dictionary lists one meaning of "agree" as:

    "reach agreement about"

    and remarks that the usage is "chiefly British". I'd add that it's also chiefly "administration/management-speak" (in the cases you cite, management by the teacher of the class activities).

    Here are some more examples:

    -- They agreed the projects and designed the shape of the students' three-day visit to the university (= They reached agreement about the projects...)

    -- They agreed the need for a good roads and transport infrastructure (= They reached agreement about the need...)

    As well as being about content or substance, the agreement reached can also imply the taking of some action:

    -- They agreed the following steps: (= They reached agreement about (taking) the following steps)

    -- They agreed the submission of the completed sections (= They reached agreement about submitting the completed sections)

    F
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Focalist said:
    The Compact Oxford English Dictionary lists one meaning of "agree" as:

    "reach agreement about"

    and remarks that the usage is "chiefly British". I'd add that it's also chiefly "administration/management-speak" (in the cases you cite, management by the teacher of the class activities).

    Here are some more examples:

    -- They agreed the projects and designed the shape of the students' three-day visit to the university (= They reached agreement about the projects...)

    -- They agreed the need for a good roads and transport infrastructure (= They reached agreement about the need...)

    As well as being about content or substance, the agreement reached can also imply the taking of some action:

    -- They agreed the following steps: (= They reached agreement about (taking) the following steps)

    -- They agreed the submission of the completed sections (= They reached agreement about submitting the completed sections)

    F
    Thanks for the enlightenment. I would have thought each one of the examples was wrong. They do sound strange, but as administration/management-speak....

    How's this? We agreed the government and managers talk funny.

    C-
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    the tree said:
    No sorry,
    We agreed that the government and managers talk funny.
    or
    We had agreed: the government and managers talk funny.
    The tree,
    I happen to agree with you, but my example was in keeping with the strange usage Focalist cited. It sounds terrible, doesn't it?

    Cuchu
     

    Lora

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    Curious said:
    "Make sure everyone agrees the theme"
    "The class should all agree the main topics"
    I have to admit that they don't sound that strange to my native ears. Maybe it's an American English thing? I don't know - I would tend to use 'agree' with a preposition - 'on' or 'with' for example but those examples sound quite natural to me.
     

    Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    cuchufléte said:
    the strange usage Focalist cited. It sounds terrible, doesn't it?
    Only if you're not used to it. I think that this is an interesting example of Rightpondian English (for once) cutting to the chase more quickly than the Leftpondian variety.

    F

    (BTW, tt, if you think (that) Cuchu should have written "We agreed that the government and managers talk funny" then you'd better amend your signature to read "If you think that I'm wrong..." :)
     

    mjscott

    Senior Member
    American English
    'on', 'with' , or 'to',

    We agreed on which type of pizza to order.
    I agreed with her; the best book was The Great Gatsby.
    We agreed to go boating after cleaning up the garage!
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    F-
    Are you rexriparians really at ease hearing 'They agreed the projects'? On the sinister side, it seems to be missing a certain something. That administrators use such constructions is enough to make me queasy about them.

    C

    High level administrator/manager: "The methodology I shall utilize...."
    Manager: "The method to be used...."
    Worker: "What I'll do..."
     

    Lora

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    mjscott said:
    'on', 'with' , or 'to',

    We agreed on which type of pizza to order.
    I agreed with her; the best book was The Great Gatsby.
    We agreed to go boating after cleaning up the garage!
    Yeah, but the first one you could say:
    'We agreed which type of pizza to order'

    The other two you need a preposition for grammatical reasons, whereas that example you can get away with not using it.
     

    Focalist

    Senior Member
    European Union, English
    cuchufléte said:
    F-
    Are you rexriparians really at ease hearing 'They agreed the projects'? On the sinister side, it seems to be missing a certain something. That administrators use such constructions is enough to make me queasy about them.
    Watch out for the Department of Home Security, Cuchu! Hath the annointed one, The Holy Blur himself, not spoken thus? --
    The Prime Minister will also argue that he saw the allegations by BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan that Downing Street had deliberately 'sexed up' intelligence as an attack on his integrity. Scarlett(*) is expected to make the same point. He will also say that he agreed the final form of the dossier and did not allow any erroneous intelligence to be inserted.
    (*) John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (and one of the most highly placed of Tony's cronies: Focalistic emphasis and parenthesis)

    F
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Focalist said:
    Watch out for the Department of Home Security, Cuchu! Hath the annointed one, The Holy Blur himself, not spoken thus? --(*) John Scarlett, chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (and one of the most highly placed of Tony's cronies: Focalistic emphasis and parenthesis)

    F
    There's something appealing about the notion of insertion of intelligence into the life forms which occupy high offices, at least in theory.
    However, as Jorge Arbusto might say, "It's hard work..real hard."
     
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