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accede verb


(accede to) to agree to a demand, proposal, request, or treaty etc, especially after first disagreeing with it
The United States has refused to accede to the Protocol.

Hello, welcome to TransLegal's lesson of the week.

My name is Robin and today we're going to talk about the soundalike words accede and exceed.

As you hear, these two words should not really be pronounced exactly the same, you must very carefully emphasise the vowel in the first syllable accede and exceed but when we speak quickly and when we are not so careful they sound alike so it's quite important to recognise the various contexts which make clear the distinctions between these words.

Now accede means to adhere to an agreement or to become party to a treaty or a contract. Whereas exceed means to go beyond or surpass.

The meanings have no correlation, they are completely different. So that makes it particularly easy to understand which one we're looking for.

For instance, this first one, accede, we would hear it in a sentence like

"The European Union supported Russia's application to accede to the World Trade Organisation."; or

"They were able to settle the case when the defendant acceded to the plaintiff's demand".

Then we have the word exceed. This we maybe hear more often in a non-legal context. For instance:

"I got a speeding ticket when I was exceeding the speed limit while driving."; or

a company might say “Spending far exceeded their revenues and that caused a deficit.”

We can also use exceed in a positive way. For instance, you can say:

“Her performance exceeded their expectations.”

Now both of these words have related nouns. For instance, for accede, we have accession. For instance you would say:

“The senate recommended accession to the treaty.”

And for excess, we would always say in excess of. So you could say:

"The company recommended that her bonus be in excess of one million dollars.”

And now I'm afraid that I might have exceeded my time limit. So I'm going to accede to my director's suggestion and finish right now.

Thank you for listening and we look forward to seeing your comments. Bye for now.

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