An Obstacle to Using the Verbs “End” and “Buy”?

Simple words are better, right? So why not use the verb end instead of terminate? Here’s what it would look like:

This agreement will [terminate] [end] on October 29, 2011.

Acme may [terminate] [end] this agreement if …

Similarly, you could use the verb buy instead of purchase:

Acme hereby [purchases] [buys] the Shares … .

But aside from ingrained habit, perhaps an obstacle to making these changes is the noun forms of end and buy:

[On termination] [At the end of] [At the ending of] this agreement …

[Purchase] [The buying] of the Shares will …

At the end of this agreement sounds like you’re referring to the back of the contract. And the gerunds ending and buying are a little awkward.

By contrast, the noun forms of terminate and purchase pose no problem.

Related note: See this February 2007 post on the AdamsDrafting blog on termination and expiration.

About the author

Ken Adams is the leading authority on how to say clearly whatever you want to say in a contract. He’s author of A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, and he offers online and in-person training around the world. He’s also chief content officer of LegalSifter, Inc., a company that combines artificial intelligence and expertise to assist with review of contracts.

2 thoughts on “An Obstacle to Using the Verbs “End” and “Buy”?”

  1. Please don’t make this suggestion.  Next up, we will be reading “Acme buys and purchases from Beta a subscription which terminates and ends as of the Expiration Date.”

  2. Ken:

    Here’s the basic term sentence from my current services agreement:

    “This agreement begins when both parties have signed it and ends when the parties have fulfilled their obligations under it.”

    A quick search in Word shows nothing starting with “terminat” in the agreement.



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