Mandatory vs compulsory

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  • El Sicario

    Member
    Colombia - Spanish
    Mandatory has to do with something which is unavoidable, like the military recruitment draft.

    Compulsory deals with actions which are seen... sick, like doing drugs, alcohol habits or just taking your credit card to every store to lavish money...
     

    El Sicario

    Member
    Colombia - Spanish
    I think you might be thinking of the word compulsion, because I agree, mandatory and compulsory are the same thing.
    Oh, yeah? I thought, as you said, that something "compulsory" had sort of more to do with the psyche; something related with the inability to avoid doing something that's harmful to oneself.

    Isn't "compulsive" the word for this?
     

    verity17

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    compulsive is when you feel you have an overwhelming need (compulsion)to do something, like in the psychological disorder OCD obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Compulsory is different because it means you actually have to do something, it's not psychological.
     

    El Sicario

    Member
    Colombia - Spanish
    compulsive is when you feel you have an overwhelming need (compulsion)to do something, like in the psychological disorder OCD obsessive compulsive disorder.

    Compulsory is different because it means you actually have to do something, it's not psychological.
    Oh, aye, verity17.;)
    I think I've got that OCD thingy.

    Thankies, lass.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    <-----Threads merged at this point.----->

    Hello,
    <...>I read all the previous threads available and I have a question. Some people make a distinction between them and some don't. They both imply that someone has to do something, but it is the person/institution/rule/law that makes them do it. "Most countries impose annual mandatory vehicle safety and emissions tests." "The wearing of a school uniform was compulsory at my old school." and "Photo ID is compulsory on all flights." These are just mere examples of how the two verbs are used. Can they be interchanged in the right context or this is not possible? What do you reckon is the difference between them? To me, mandatory sounds like something imposed by a country. I am aware of the fact that "compulsion -> compulsory", but in some contexts they do look the same (at least to me).
     
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