“Agree to” or “Agree with?”

Should I Use “Agree to” or “Agree with?”

 
A good way to distinguish the phrases agree to and agree with from one another is to think of agree to as agree to do. When you agree to terms on a contract, for example, you are expressing an intention to do as the contract says. You can agree to (but not with) demands, and you can agree with (but not to) an opinion.

The distinction between these phrases can be confusing at times. Here is an example: Imagine that somebody has said to you, “You should eat fast food less often.” You could express your agreement by saying either “I agree to that,” or “I agree with that,” but these two expressions do not quite mean the same thing.

If you respond by saying, “I agree to that,” you are agreeing to do as this person has said, and you are declaring that you will stop eating so much fast food. If you instead respond by saying, “I agree with that,” you are merely stating that you also believe that you should eat fast food less often, but you are not expressing an intention to actually change your habit.


 

Jake Magnum, author of the Magnum Proofreading Blog, is dedicated to helping writers perfect their work. In addition to giving free advice on his blog, Jake helps writers by offering very affordable proofreading services at magnumproofreading.com.

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