upon receiving vs by receiving

sledges

New Member
Baltic
Dear all,

The document is written in British English.

"Welcome to the association! By receiving this certificate you have joined our welcoming community."
os
"Welcome to the association! Upon receiving this certificate you have joined our welcoming community."

I'd go for upon (sounds more official/celebratory), but my colleague (with American English background) has the following explanation:
" 'Upon' means somewhat 'thereafter', 'after completion…'. So 'on' or 'by' are more appropriate when the acts are simultaneous"

Whom of us is right (or neither one)?

Cheers,
sledge
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hello, Sledges. Welcome to the forum. :) "Upon" here means "when" or "at the time that...": When/at the time that you have received this certificate, you have joined the community. You can consider yourself a member when you get the certificate. Before you get that certificate, you can't say that you are a member.

    I think "upon" makes more sense in this sentence. "By" doesn't have the same meaning.
     
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    sledges

    New Member
    Baltic
    Thank you owlman5,

    Apologies for not introducing myself, I have been using wordreference.com dictionaries and reading forums without having registered, hence already feeling like at home :)

    I got more opinions backing your position: "by receiving" applies to a live event (when certificate is handed in by an authority in person), and "upon receiving" - when it is being sent out - thus 'when' you receive it by post, you become a member.

    In my case, you become a member as soon as you pay the entrance fee. You receive the certificate by post only weeks later. It becomes legislatively legitimate only when you have it signed. I guess "By signing this certificate" would be more appropriate. Thank you for making me think on the sensitive bits!


    Cheers,
    -- 
    sledge
     
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