Learn English – technical difference between “agree” and “concur”


I've heard before that there is an actual distinction between the two. To "agree", as I understand it, is to believe that that a person's decision, opinion, or what have you is correct.

To "concur", on the other hand, would mean that you came to the same opinion/conclusion on your own.

For example, after Susan broke up with me, Dave and Bill independently came to the conclusion that it happened because she walked in on me wearing her underwear. As such, they concurred. On the other hand, although I initially had no idea what drove her to break my heart, once Bill and Dave explained how my actions were not socially acceptable I was inclined to believe their assessment was correct. Hence, I agreed with them.

Does anyone know if this is an actual dictionary difference? Or do "agree" and "concur" legitimately have the same meaning?

Best Answer

"Concur" implies a stated agreement with an opinion, whereas agreement by itself need not be expressed, nor need it be with an opinion. I can agree with someone's feelings about something, but not concur with their feelings. Also, "concur" is much more likely to have a singular subject -- I concur more often than we concur. Further, we can agree with each other, whereas we cannot concur with each other.

Legally, "concur" has the meaning of a written opinion.

Thus, as well as the already noted register difference, there's also a distinct difference in how the terms function syntactically.