When it comes to the idiom involving the phrase "own accord", is it considered correct to say "on one's own accord", instead of "of one's own accord"? To me, the former sounds more natural. Example: "the autodidact enjoyed learning on her own accord".

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    The specific preposition is a matter of arbitrarily-established idiomatic usage, which as this NGrams shows, overwhelmingly favours of. I'm sure at least some (perhaps most) of the relatively few people who use on are getting mixed up with "on his own account". Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 13:23

2 Answers 2


I agree with Andreas: I have never heard "on" used with "own accord" before. Furthermore looking at a google ngram of "on your own accord" vs. "of your own accord" shows that "of" is an order of magnitude more common.

The phrase "of own accord" is also listed in the idiom dictionary at dictionary.com and used as a frequent example in definitions of "accord", whereas "on" is not.

I think "on one's own accord" is simply incorrect.

  • My skill in identifying the various pieces of grammar is pale in comparison to the rest of you, but I will say that a switch in my brain went off when watching a TV show, and a detective said: "She left on her own accord." I had to pause the show and say... is that correct? I thought about it and believed that 'She left of her own accord.' sounded more correct. I will admit that I get by thinking more of 'what sounds correct' than what is grammatically correct. Thank you for the well-explained clarification.
    – sthede
    Commented Apr 21, 2017 at 17:41

I don't think I've ever heard "on one's own accord." It sounds to me like a hybrid of the (standard) expressions "of one's own accord" and "on one's own initiative."

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