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And what does it mean? When I first started hearing someone using it a few years ago, I figured it was a personal spin on "agree sometimes", but apparently, he's not the only one who uses this phrase.

Edit: Clarified to indicate that "I tend to agree that/with..." makes complete sense. It's when people say, "I tend to agree.", period. That's what strikes me as strange to say.

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3 Answers 3

Tend means "be inclined", "feel willing or favorably disposed".

She tends to believe I can get that job.

The origin of the word is middle 14th century, from the Old French tendre.

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It isn't so much 'agree sometimes' as 'agree somewhat' - often with an undertone of reluctance to agree. It can, obviously, depend on context.

  • I tend to agree with the people who resist raising taxes.
  • I tend to agree that the club should incur the expense, but I'm not completely sure yet.
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I just realized from your example that I wasn't being clear. (Oops.) "I tend to agree that/with..." makes complete sense. It's when people say, "I tend to agree.", period. That's what strikes me as strange to say. –  chimerical Mar 6 '11 at 23:02

When I hear someone say "I tend to agree", I picture that person being someone who just CAN'T let someone else be right about something. To me it's as good as the person saying "thanks for the heads up, but I'm right, too..."

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