What's the difference between commission and committee ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ann_deng, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. ann_deng New Member

    What's the difference between commission and committee ?
  2. akhooha Senior Member

    English - USA
    Outside of the fact that "commission" has a number of other meanings (you could look them up), they both refer to a group of people with authority.

    I have a feeling that a group that takes itself rather seriously may prefer to call itself a "commission" but, strictly speaking, it's no different from a committee....
  3. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    Welcome to the English forum, ann_deng!

    There are similarities between the two words. But we talk about a commission of enquiry.
    Commission is largely used in Europe for the European Commission (note the capital letter), which is the executive body of the EU and implements decisions etc.
    The UK Government may also appoint a Royal Commission (not Committee) to investigate something, e.g. equal pay.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    A commission is commissioned to do something. To commission = to be empowered by law to do something.

    A committee is simply a group of people who get together (because they want to, or because that is their occupation or duty) in order to make a decision, find a solution, propose a solution, ask someone else to do something. There need be no legal basis to a committee.
  5. rhitagawr

    rhitagawr Senior Member

    British English
    In GB there can be a Royal Commission - one which is set up by the government to look at a particular issue. A commission in this sense can take months to complete its work. Its members can, for example, carry out many individual investigations, interview people, and read many documents before completing their final report.
    A committee is just a group of people who meet from time to time to discuss matters for which they're responsible. A chess club, for example, will have a committee - a chairman, secretary, treasurer and perhaps some non-executive members.
  6. ann_deng New Member

    Thanks, your explanations is very helpful to me. This question occured to me when I saw "the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party" and "China Banking Regulatory Commission". I guess I understand what's the difference between these two words now.

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