Linguistic Pecularities Of Contracts in English

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e.g. We confirm the exchange of telexes as between us follows…

Solely on condition that – it’s one of a few phrases that can be considered better than its short counterparts. One might ask: “Why not use just if instead of the phrase?” If by itself opens a possibility of open contingencies.

e.g. If Baker delivers 1000 barrels I will buy them.

But it is unclear if you will buy them only from Baker. Therefore, we can use only if as a synonym. Sometimes it works out, but not always. In this case more than an elaborated phrase is justified.

e.g. I will buy 1000 barrels solely on condition that Baker delivers them.

The phrase makes the conditions of the deal clear.

e.g. We can accept the goods solely on condition that you grant us allowance of…per…

In contracts there are other prepositional phrases made up from words. They are complex, and one must be attentive using them. The prepositions also provided are the following: on conditions that; on the understanding, etc.

e.g. We agree to this only on the understanding that the rate of freight does not exceed.

Claims against the quality of vehicles may be submitted on conditions that the defects are found within 40 days.

Such prepositional phrases are practically equal in meaning.

Subject to – a few contracts do without this phrase. Many promises can be made good only if certain things occur. The right procedure is to spell out these plausible impediments to the degree that you can reasonably foresee them.

e.g. Our agreement is subject to the laws of Connecticut.

The wood goods hereinafter specified subject to a variation in Sellers’ option of 20 per cent…

But there is another meaning of the prepositional phrase. It may express some condition.

e.g. We offer you, subject to your acceptance by cable, 1000 tons of ore.

The Sellers have sold and the Buyers have bought on the terms and conditions set forth and subject to General Conditions on Sale endorsed…

Exclusive – it’s important in contracts. English is vast and its usage creates difficulties in many cases. Exclusivity as a term means that somebody is bored from dealing with another one in a specified area.

In the lexicon of contracts there are many foreign words, first of all, Latin ones, such as pro rata and pari passu. Pro rata proves helpful when payments are to be in proportion refuting prior formulas in a contract.

e.g. Demurrage is to be paid per day and pro rata for any part of the running day.

Pari passu is used when several people are paid at the same level or time out of a common fund.

e.g. Fractions to be considered pari passu.

Still there are such words as inferior / superior, they are often used to describe the quality of goods.

e.g. Should the natural weight be superior or the contents of foreign admixture inferior…

We had specially selected the goods which were superior to the samples in every respect.

Complaints and claims may arise in connection with inferior quality of the goods, late delivery or non-delivery of goods.

Ad hac is also a Latin word, not often used in contracts nowadays. It means now an arbitrary court for a concrete trial. Such Latin words as ultima, proxima are now archaic and rarely used.

e.g. If the excess is discovered only on arrival of the goods at their ultima destination in the U.K.

On the contrary, such a Latin adjective as extra, which means additional, keeps being widely used in official English, and is quite common for the colloquial style.

e.g. In order to obtain delivery we have had to incur extra expenses for which we hold you responsible.

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