we/they are agreed vs. we/they agreed

tram-pam-pam

Senior Member
UK
Russian
Hi

Sometimes I am a bit confused when using are/is agreed, could you explain the use of the form so that I could understand? :)
For example,

"The Three Governments realize that the war has caused special economic difficulties for Iran, and they are agreed that they will continue to make available to the Government of Iran such economic assistance as may be possible, having regard to the heavy demands made upon them by their world-wide military operations, and to the world-wide shortage of transport, raw materials, and supplies for civilian consumption."
(c) Declaration of the Three Powers Regarding Iran—December 1, 1943

What would change in meaning if we changed the text :))), using Active Voice (they are/have/had agreed) ?
 
  • Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    They "are" agreed is stative, they are in a state of agreement, and this doesn't necessarily mean that they spoke to each other and made the agreement, it might simply mean that they have all taken the same position independently. But when you say "they have agreed" it does imply that they have got together and agreed a position. That, at least, is how I would interpret the difference.
     

    Black Sheep

    Member
    England, English
    Hi

    Sometimes I am a bit confused when using are/is agreed, could you explain the use of the form so that I could understand? :)
    For example,

    "The Three Governments realize that the war has caused special economic difficulties for Iran, and they are agreed that they will continue to make available to the Government of Iran such economic assistance as may be possible, having regard to the heavy demands made upon them by their world-wide military operations, and to the world-wide shortage of transport, raw materials, and supplies for civilian consumption."
    (c) Declaration of the Three Powers Regarding Iran—December 1, 1943

    What would change in meaning if we changed the text :))), using Active Voice (they are/have/had agreed) ?

    I concur with Matching Mole and would add that you couldn't use 'they had agreed' as this is in the pluperfect tense.
     

    tram-pam-pam

    Senior Member
    UK
    Russian
    Ah, I see!
    So, if this was produced as a conclusion of a conference or any other meeting, the Active form could be more appropriate, yes?
    But as the quote is not a result of the (Tehran) conference itself, but is from ''a separate protocol pledged the three countries" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehran_Conference), it does not necessarily implied previous 'meetings' to come to the agreement.
    Just stating the fact (state) of it, yes...

    Thank you!
     

    Black Sheep

    Member
    England, English
    "We are agreed" is heard countless times at meetings when a decision has to be reached.

    Also in court cases, the members of the jury are asked if they are agreed upon a verdict.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    So, if this was produced as a conclusion of a conference or any other meeting, the Active form could be more appropriate, yes?
    But as the quote is not a result of the (Tehran) conference itself, but is from ''a separate protocol pledged the three countries" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehran_Conference), it does not necessarily implied previous 'meetings' to come to the agreement.
    Just stating the fact (state) of it, yes...

    It's not really "active versus passive", tram-pam-pam.

    Active: the three countries have agreed a protocol
    Passive: a protocol has been agreed [by the three countries].

    "We are agreed" simply means "we are in agreement".

    You are right that this is describing a state, rather than reflecting an action.

    ----------
    PS to Blootix: "We are agreed" seems unremarkable to me, too. Slightly formal, but unremarkable.
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    There are few verbs in English that sometimes form a present perfect tense with the verb to be as well as the verb to have.
    They have gone / They are gone.
    They have agreed / They are agreed.
    Christ has risen / Christ is risen.
    In each case the form with the verb to be tends to be more formal or literary, and also tends to emphasize the present component of the present perfect tense rather than the perfect component.
     
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