When it comes to legal documents and contracts, small details can make a big difference. One of the most common areas of confusion is whether to use “on” or “in” when referring to an agreement. While both prepositions might seem interchangeable, they actually have different meanings that can impact the clarity, accuracy, and SEO-friendliness of your text.
So, what`s the difference between “on” and “in” the agreement?
In general, “in” means that something is contained or enclosed within a larger object or space. For example, you might say “the key is in the lock” or “the book is in the shelf”. When applied to contracts or agreements, “in” implies that the terms, conditions, or provisions are part of the document as a whole, and that they are binding and enforceable within the scope of the agreement.
On the other hand, “on” generally means that something is attached or related to the surface or exterior of an object. For instance, you might say “the sticker is on the laptop” or “the painting is on the wall”. When used in relation to agreements, “on” suggests that the terms, conditions, or provisions are not an integral part of the document, but rather supplement or clarify its meaning or intent.
So, which one should you use when writing about agreements? As with many grammar and style questions, the answer depends on the context and purpose of your text.
If you are referring to specific clauses, sections, or articles within the agreement, it is usually better to use “in”. For example, you might write “According to the arbitration clause in the agreement, any disputes between the parties shall be resolved by a neutral third party”. This usage emphasizes that the clause is an essential and indivisible component of the contract, and signals to readers and search engines that the text is relevant to legal matters.
If, on the other hand, you are discussing the agreement as a whole, or using it as a point of reference for other topics, you might use “on”. For instance, you could write “The parties reached a settlement on the basis of the terms outlined in the agreement”, or “The new policy is designed to align with the principles set forth on the agreement”. This usage suggests that the agreement is a contextual or informational backdrop, rather than a direct source of legal or binding obligations.
Of course, there are exceptions and variations to these guidelines, and you should always consult your style guide, client preferences, or legal expert to ensure accuracy and consistency. Furthermore, in some cases, you might need to use both “in” and “on” in the same sentence or paragraph, depending on the structure or emphasis of your text. For example, you could write “The parties agreed in principle to the merger, but the details on the valuation are still being negotiated”.
Overall, the choice between “on” and “in” can affect not only the grammar and style of your writing, but also the perception and reception of your content by your audience and search engines. By understanding the nuances and implications of these prepositions, you can improve the clarity, precision, and SEO-friendliness of your text, while avoiding common errors and ambiguities.