impose or enforce

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Which verb is right , impose or enforce in the following sentence? Also, if you find any probelms, can I have your comments?

To prvent thefts and vandalism on our campus, we need to impose( or enforce?) more strict rules to stuents' behaviour.
  • marky1991

    Senior Member
    The correct verb would be impose. "Enforce" means to actually use an already existing rule, while "impose" means to create new rules. In your example, you said "more strict rules", (stricter would be a little better, more strict is ambiguous; we can't tell if you mean more (as in in increase in number) strict rules, or if you're using "more" as an intensifier.), so it has to be impose.


    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    If the rules exist already, you'd use "enforce." If they need to be created, as I'd guess is the case, you'd use "impose."

    Note that the singular "theft" would likely be used in this case to collectively refer to all thefts.


    Senior Member
    Oh, sorry, I just reread it, I have a couple of other things now:
    To prevent theft and vandalism on campus, we need to impose stricter rules on students.

    The "Our" is implied, and the "to student's behavior" doesn't fit. If you say "on students", the behavior part is implied. Also, the phrase is, "impose NOUN + on OBJECT"


    Senior Member
    "More strict rules" would be additional strict rules. "Impose" would go with this phrase.
    "Stricter rules" would be rules that are more stringent. "Impose" fits best with this phrase too.
    To use "enforce", you would probably need to say something like "to more strictly enforce the rules concerning students' behaviour".

    In any case, "rules on students' behaviour", or "rules for student behaviour" would sound more natural to my ear than "rules to students' behaviour".
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