Is It Accord or Agreement

As a copy editor, one of the most common questions I get asked is whether to use „accord“ or „agreement“ in a sentence. Both words refer to a mutual understanding or harmony between two or more parties, but there are some subtle differences between them that can affect how they are used in writing.

Accord is a noun that implies a formal or official agreement between parties, often involving legal or diplomatic matters. For example, you might say „The two nations signed an accord to reduce carbon emissions“ or „The company`s shareholders reached an accord on executive compensation.“ Accord can also be used as a verb to mean to grant or give.

Agreement, on the other hand, is a more general term that refers to any kind of mutual understanding or consensus between people. It can be used in both formal and informal contexts and usually implies a less binding commitment than accord. For example, you might say „We reached an agreement on where to have dinner tonight“ or „The two sides came to an agreement on the terms of the contract.“

So which word should you use in a given situation? As with most questions of usage, it depends on the context and tone you are trying to convey. If you are writing about a formal agreement between parties, such as a treaty or contract, then accord is likely the better choice. If you are describing a more informal understanding or consensus, then agreement is probably more appropriate.

It`s also worth noting that accord is a somewhat less common word than agreement, so using it excessively or unnecessarily in your writing could come across as stilted or overly formal. As always, the key is to communicate clearly and effectively with your audience, and choosing the right words for the job is an important part of that process.