to force vs to enforce

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x-yuri

Member
Russian - Ukraine
Judging from Collins COBUILD dictionary:

force
1) If someone forces you to do something, they make you do it even though you do not want to, for example by threatening you.
He was charged with abducting a taxi driver and forcing him to drive a bomb to Downing Street...
He was forced to resign by Russia's conservative parliament at the beginning of December...
I cannot force you in this. You must decide...
They were grabbed by three men who appeared to force them into a car.
2) If a situation or event forces you to do something, it makes it necessary for you to do something that you would not otherwise have done.
A back injury forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon...
He turned right, down a dirt road that forced him into four-wheel drive...
She finally was forced to the conclusion that she wouldn't get another paid job in her field.
...

enforce
1) If people in authority enforce a law or a rule, they make sure that it is obeyed, usually by punishing people who do not obey it.
Until now, the government has only enforced the ban with regard to American ships...
The measures are being enforced by Interior Ministry troops.
2) To enforce something means to force or cause it to be done or to happen.
They struggled to limit the cost by enforcing a low-tech specification...
David is now living in Beirut again after an enforced absence.
I may assume that to enforce is used in the context of establishing rules, laws, whether it's done by people in authority or not. Is this correct?
 
  • JuanEscritor

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Judging from Collins COBUILD dictionary:



    I may assume that to enforce is used in the context of establishing rules, laws, whether it's done by people in authority or not. Is this correct?
    Yes. Force is something you do to a person; enforce is something you do to a rule or law.

    The government enforced the new law by forcing people to ...

     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    JI may assume that to enforce is used in the context of establishing rules, laws, whether it's done by people in authority or not. Is this correct?

    No, that it is not correct.

    "Enforce" refers to rules, laws, etc. already in place. It has nothing to do with establishing them.
     
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