terms and conditions (of the contract)

English translation: Not absolute synonyms

14:18 Oct 8, 2002
English language (monolingual) [PRO]
Bus/Financial - Law: Contract(s) / contracts
English term or phrase: terms and conditions (of the contract)
Are those two words absolute synonyms in this case?
If so, why are two words always used together?
If not, what is the difference?
xeni (X)
Selected answer:Not absolute synonyms
Explanation:
"Terms" can specify such details as price, dates, delivery, rights, etc. "Condition" = a future and uncertain event upon the happening of which is made to depened the existence of an obligation, or that which subordinates the existence of liability under a contract to a certain future event. A clause in a contract or arrangement which has for its object to suspend, rescind, or modify the principal obligation. (Black's Law Dictionary)

Hence, a resolutory/dissolving condition, a condition precedent, subsequent and other types of "conditions" included in contracts.


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Note added at 2002-10-08 20:08:06 (GMT)
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It is obvious that upon blending of \"terms\" and \"conditions\" in that set phrase, the distinction between them fades away. We do not say \"Check that term for the price and check that condition for the approvals required.\" The universal term that covers both is the one discussed by John Kinory below. In fact, that is precisely what happens, for instance, in Polish, where we do not have two separate words for \"terms and conditions\" and reduce both of them either to \"conditions\" or to \"provisions\" or try the hybrid \"conditions and provisions.\" Despite the fact that the two terms are not \"absolute synonyms\" due to the obvious nuances underlying them, my preferred explanation in situations like that remains the one mentioned by Arthur Gorges above: You pay the legal clerks by the word.
Selected response from:

Jacek Krankowski (X)
Grading comment
Thank you, Jacek! And thank you John, actually your answer was of BIG help.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



SUMMARY OF ALL EXPLANATIONS PROVIDED
5 +3For what it's worth
Catherine Bolton
4 +4to add to the confusion :-)
John Kinory (X)
4 +2Not absolute synonyms
Jacek Krankowski (X)
3 +2terms and conditions
jerrie
3Well,
Arthur Borges


  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
Well,


Explanation:
As the story goes, Britain's barristers used to pay legal clerks by the word, so the girls would embroider the language. As an example, French is usually about 20% longer than English, but French legalese is 10% (assuming tightly written originals, of course).
Gladly confess ignorance of the distinction, but couldn't resist adding my tuppence' worth of wisdom or generally accepted legend here.

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 12:49

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Veronica Durbaca: nice :)
2 hrs
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Not absolute synonyms


Explanation:
"Terms" can specify such details as price, dates, delivery, rights, etc. "Condition" = a future and uncertain event upon the happening of which is made to depened the existence of an obligation, or that which subordinates the existence of liability under a contract to a certain future event. A clause in a contract or arrangement which has for its object to suspend, rescind, or modify the principal obligation. (Black's Law Dictionary)

Hence, a resolutory/dissolving condition, a condition precedent, subsequent and other types of "conditions" included in contracts.


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2002-10-08 20:08:06 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

It is obvious that upon blending of \"terms\" and \"conditions\" in that set phrase, the distinction between them fades away. We do not say \"Check that term for the price and check that condition for the approvals required.\" The universal term that covers both is the one discussed by John Kinory below. In fact, that is precisely what happens, for instance, in Polish, where we do not have two separate words for \"terms and conditions\" and reduce both of them either to \"conditions\" or to \"provisions\" or try the hybrid \"conditions and provisions.\" Despite the fact that the two terms are not \"absolute synonyms\" due to the obvious nuances underlying them, my preferred explanation in situations like that remains the one mentioned by Arthur Gorges above: You pay the legal clerks by the word.

Jacek Krankowski (X)
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Thank you, Jacek! And thank you John, actually your answer was of BIG help.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Clauwolf: Ksenia is very beautiful, isn't she?
3 mins

agree  Clara Lazimy
1 hr

neutral  Veronica Durbaca: The definition of conditions is right, but it's about conditions stricto sensu. In "terms&conditions", condition has a broader meaning.
2 hrs
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21 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
terms and conditions


Explanation:
...in an insurance policy for example.

The terms describe the cover offered, eg:Medical Emergency Expenses

"If during your trip you become ill or injured...you are covered for: x, y, z

The conditions describe the circumstances/criteria needed to make the claim valid.

"No payment will be made for Medical Emergency Expenses without appropriate medical certification.
If we require any medical certificates these must be obtained by you at your own expense."

Terms is a general description.
Conditions is a qualification of specifics not highlighted in terms.

(Then of course you have exclusions, but that's another story)

hth

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:49
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  jerryk (X)
31 mins
  -> Thanks

agree  Clara Lazimy
52 mins
  -> Thanks
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
For what it's worth


Explanation:
According to the Webster\'s Dictionary of Law (a US publication):

term (definition 4): a word, phrase or provision of import, esp. in determining the nature and scope of an agreement, usually used in plural (the terms of the contract).

condition: an uncertain future act or event whose occurrence or nonoccurrence determines the rights or obligations of a party under a legal instrument and esp. a contract; also: a clause in the instrument describing the act or event and its effect.

The latter word would thus cover things like breach of contract, i.e. the nonoccurrence of something, while the former would indicate the nature of the contract itself. Interestingly, \"term\" also means a period of time and every contract always indicates when the agreement goes into effect and when it expires.

In short, not quite the same thing!

Catherine Bolton
Local time: 06:49
Native speaker of: English

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Clara Lazimy
8 mins

agree  airmailrpl
18 hrs

agree  Kardi Kho
22 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
to add to the confusion :-)


Explanation:
At least in BE (but there are equivalent words in at least 2 other languages that I know of), you'll also find 'provisions'. Sometimes this even appears in the collocation 'terms and provisions', e.g. 'If x happens, the terms and provisions of this contract are void'.

In some languages, 'provisions' is rendered as the equivalent of 'instructions'. But since both parties to the contract have to abide by the terms and by the provisions, your guess is as good as mine regarding the difference between them.

Now for something completely different: is anyone else finding it impossible to comment on Kudoz answers? I have emailed everybody at Proz, contacted Support and posted a Forum topic - nobody has replied :-(((

John Kinory (X)
Local time: 05:49

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Sue Goldian: This is the first Kudoz answer I've commented on today :-)
1 hr
  -> Thanks!

agree  Veronica Durbaca: seems I can comment as well....oh, and the idea was the two words are about the same, right?
1 hr
  -> Yes, that was what I meant - it's a distinction without much (or any) difference. Thanks!

agree  Arthur Borges: I had the odd bit of sluggishness the other day in getting thru, but it may be my PC.
1 hr
  -> I meant that there was a notice to the effect that there is a technical block on doing so - a large white square with bold lettering. It has disappeared, since just now :-)

agree  Kardi Kho: and I'm confused now
21 hrs
  -> Good, then I did something right :-) Seriously, though, the above contains SOME useful help, I hope.
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