Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

dictate the terms

dictate the terms
Meaning(s)
1) exert control over or lay out the exact terms of something
  • How to MemorizePopularity MediumProfessional LowSocial
    • dictate the terms of an agreement/contract/deal
  • Analysis
    To 'dictate the terms' is a strong phrase to use when discussing contracts or agreements. You might hear it used in meetings or presentations, mainly in the context of someone being in charge or in control of how things will progress. If you dictate the terms of something, you are making the terms and expectations clear. If you move into a rental home, for example, the landlord might 'dictate the terms of the lease' such as not having pets, paying the rent on time etc. 'To dictate' means to give orders or instructions verbally or speak words authoritatively. If you are dictating terms you are in a more powerful position than the people you are dictating to. This phrase is more likely to be used in professional situations.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. The singer hit the big time with her last album. It was so successful that she is now in a position where she can dictate the terms of her new contract as her record label cannot afford to lose her.
    2. I hate doing business with Helen. In every meeting, we have had so far she has tried to call the shots by dictating terms to everyone. I wish she would just back off for a change!
    3. The precarious state of the country's economy means that they are in no position to dictate terms to the other nations in the region over the trade deal. They need it to be signed as much as anyone.
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. The landlord dictated the terms of our rental agreement but the tenancy board said some of the terms were not lawful.
    2. My contract arrived this morning which dictate the terms of my employment in my new job.
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