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A lot people use "agreed" as an interjection, especially while writing comments in blogs, forums, and other online platforms. This use is also mentioned by different English dictionaries (e.g. Collins), but I don't know whether it can be used in a more formal setting than an online forum.

I'm also curious as to its actual meaning.

Is it a shorthand of I have agreed? If so, is the present perfect used (albeit in an abbreviated form) to describe an action that was completed in a very recent past?

Or is it a shortand of I am agreed? I sometimes find this expression, although in a different setting than "agreed", but I'm not sure it is correct.

Or is it something else entirely? I've tried searching on the Internet, but I haven't found an answer so far.

  • It's kind of idiomatic, so searching for strict sense may not be worth it, but "I am agreed" doesn't really make sense grammatically (in modern English, at least). "We are agreed" is slightly more common, but still very old-fashioned. "I have agreed" is grammatically correct, but doesn't really make sense semantically - it makes it sound like the agreeing was at some time in the past. If you really want to think of it as short for something, maybe "It is agreed upon" is the best thing. – stangdon May 25 '16 at 17:13
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    It might be a shortening of 'we are agreed'. – Tofystedeth May 25 '16 at 20:14
  • @Tofystedeth That's my guess at an etymology as well. – Kyle Strand May 25 '16 at 23:17
  • Consider also "Granted" or "Conceded", in response to a point. – mattdm May 26 '16 at 2:43
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When you use "Agreed" as an interjection, it is equivalent to "I agree." It is short for the much more formal "It is agreed."

One way you typically see this done is when speakers are setting the ground rules (or baseline assumptions) before beginning a discussion where there may be some disagreement.

This likely stems from a more formal era where you were making an oral contract with somebody, and the first speaker declares the terms of the contract, and the second speaker is accepting the terms of the contract. "It is agreed that we will proceed the way we have discussed." Over time this has just been shortened to "Agreed" which then morphed into a simple way of showing agreement.

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    The formal meaning of "agreed" is still used (in the UK) in minutes of meetings, etc. In that context, "agreed" means that the committee, or person, who agrees has the authority to make a final decision about the matter and usually that having agreed, they expect some action to be taken. This meaning often applies to comments on emails in a business context when a manager comments "agreed" on a proposal by one of his subordinates. See item 3 of communityimpactbucks.org.uk/data/files/Self_Help_Guides/…, for example. – alephzero May 26 '16 at 0:17
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It just is.

And the Oxford English Dictionary gives usages as far back as 1534

1534 J. Heywood Play of Loue sig. Bi, Loued not louyng. We shall neuer agre Unlesse ye wyll admyt some man..to..gyue iudgement. Louer not loued. Agred.

This old usage just shows a different spelling of agreed (as for love, lover, loved, etc.)

I think of it as the second party indicating that the two parties are agreed (in agreement) when the second party says agreed. Either that or the matter at hand has been agreed upon with the second party saying agreed.

It could have first had a legal connotation in that the oldest meaning of agreement was a legal term akin to contract.

We can just think of it as the equivalent of I agree.

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    -1 for "It just is." – Don Hatch May 26 '16 at 5:05
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Agreed is used to express your approval on the immediate matter at hand, and is thus welcome in an oral discussion with friends or when instant-messaging someone. For instance:

What do you say we go out and grab a drink after work ?
Agreed !

Used this way, you could replace it with a simple "Okay !" or "Alright !"

You wouldn't use it so much in a discussion on a forum or through emails, and would prefer I agree to show someone you and him have the same point of view.

  • So it is an informal expression, am I right? Anyway, I'd be really interested in knowing the actual meaning (I don't know if "etymology" would be the appropriate word here). – A. Darwin May 25 '16 at 15:04
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    I wouldn't go so far as to call it informal. It is an interjection, so you'll always prefer developping your thoughts when talking with more important people, but I don't think anyone would mind if you used it in a discussion. – MadWard May 25 '16 at 15:12
  • I often use it in both discussion forums and in emails, especially with people I know well. I use it as a less formal version of "I agree" or "I agree with you." The distinction, for me then, is where the focus is. If you are trying to emphasize that you agree, you might use the full phrase. If you are kind of stating an obvious agreement, I just use "Agreed" and get on with the discussion. So for me it's about focus and emphasis. – Paul Pehrson May 25 '16 at 20:25
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    It's not informal in the sense of being slang or nonstandard. – mattdm May 26 '16 at 2:37
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I think that "agreed" belongs to the same type of shortened answers (not really interjections) as "understood", "noted" etc. And like stangdon I think it should be taken as kind of idiomatic.

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