Dear Patty T


I have tried to understand the meaning of the sentence "We don’t always have to approve to agree." in your last reply and my brain is getting complicated:) I think that "We don’t always have to agree to approve." is what you intented to write or is there a meaning difference between the two sentences? Anyhow, agree and approve can be used synonymously sometimes, but sometimes they are not, right? Thank you as usual and have a good day.

edited Jun 19 '13 at 01:44 Hans Contributor

2 answers


To me, the distiinction is thus: to approve means that I think the way that you're thinking is acceptable; to agree means that I think the same way you're thinking.

link comment answered Jun 19 '13 at 01:47 Ahmad Barnard Expert

I didn't mean to fry your brain!  Yes, it is a little hard to follow.


Actually it can be either way.  The example I gave was something like, "I agree with Dad, you may not go to the movies."  In this sentence, the scenario looks like this:


I am Mom.  The kids asked Dad if they could go to the movies.  Dad did not approve.  He said they cannot go to the movies.  The kids then asked me to approve a trip to the movies.  I agreed with Dad and disapproved of a trip to the movies.


Now, let's flip it around like you said.  Here is an example of how that works.  Joe goes to the boss and asks permission to make a small purchase.  Joe tells him that this purchase will save time and money in the future.  The boss does not agree.  He thinks it won't help at all.  But he approves the purchase because he knows Joe will keep on moaning about having his request denied.  The purchase is small and Joe will learn something from unecessary purchase.  The boss says, "I don't agree that it will work, but I approve the purchase." 


Does that help at all?

link answered Jun 19 '13 at 03:49 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

Thank you so much and this really does help. To make it clear, here is one more thing. We can approve something because we agree, right? It is a somewhat silly question:) But I would like to hear from you again. Thank you for your help and time.

HansJun 19 '13 at 07:07

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