Is it 'make a motion...' or 'moved to...' for board minutes?


I create the minutes for two boards. I can't remember which structure is correct. Will you please help me with the following examples:


The Vice-chair moved to approve the minutes. 


The Vice-chair made a motion to approve the minutes.


I keep visualizing the Vice-chair making some form of crazy jesture when I look at option number two. But which one is correct?


Thanks for your imput!

board minutes motion moved asked Jun 06 '13 at 17:53 Carrie New member

I'd say, "The vice-chair moved ... " BTW, why is "Vice-chair" capped and hyphenated? I'd leave it down & closed per AP.

beth g sandersJun 08 '13 at 02:37

Thank you! I'll fix the vicechair as well even though word gives me the dreaded red line!

CarrieJun 13 '13 at 18:14

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3 answers


They are both correct. "Make a motion " is present tense, " "So moved" is past tense. It depends on the tense you are using in the minutes. The secretary made a motion and the president responded "So moved." This is past tense and the most comfortable to use. But, if you are taking minutes during the action, you might say, the treasurer responded, "I make a motion to close the account." This would be present tense.

link answered Jun 06 '13 at 18:22 Sarah Burdge New member

Thank you for your response!

CarrieJun 13 '13 at 18:16

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"Make a motion" and "move" are equivalent in the present tense; "Made a motion" and "moved" are equivalent in the past tense. If you think about it in just general terms, when you make a motion (e.g., step forward), you move (i.e., step forward). A typical conversation might be, "Would someone like to make a motion that we blah blah blah?" "Yes, I move that we blah blah blah."


The only thing that's not correct, and drives me nuts because people do it so often, is to use "motion" as a verb, as in, "I motion that we blah blah blah."

link answered Jun 08 '13 at 07:25 Ellen New member

Thank you! I knew there was some form that was incorrect. This helps to clarify.

CarrieJun 13 '13 at 18:17

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You can look up Roberts Rules of Order to better understand the lingo. 


Here's an explanation in my own words.  Making a motion is part of the process to keep the meeting moving from one agenda item to the next.  The board could sit there and talk and talk without coming to any agreement or getting anything done.  When you make a motion, it is sort of like waving your hand and saying, "Hey, I'm ready to move onto the next item."  If someone seconds the motion, they are waving their hand figuratively as well to say, "Yes, I agree.  Let's wrap this up and move on!"  Then the board takes a vote.  If the motion passes, one would say, "So moved."  That means we are done with that topic and are moving on.


Does that help?

link answered Jun 06 '13 at 18:04 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Perfect. Thank you for your comments!

CarrieJun 13 '13 at 18:15

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