I always use the two expressions interchangeably; well indeed I'm mostly prone to use "in accordance with" in an academic context instead of "according to."

Is that correct? What would you recommend me to use instead?

Additional context (sorry for ignoring this part):

The modern sensibilities about museums have altered remarkably in accordance with/according to the growing interest in the post-post-structural scholarly trends.

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    You have not provided context, like an expected sentence with one form or the other. The two are not identical. Jul 20, 2017 at 14:42
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    In accordance with is the more formal phrase and refers only to laws and rules; something may be said to be in accordance with some rule or regulations. According to, on the other hand, simply means any source of information: According to facebook, Trump was elected in 1986. Jul 20, 2017 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


According (to) and Accordance (with) are two different words/phrases. They clearly have the same root (Accord, meaning agreement) but they cannot be used interchangeably.

According to means "as stated by".

Accordance with means "in compliance" or "in agreement"

  • So can I say "in accordance with what Susan says" instead of "according to Susan" ?
    – Reactor4
    Jul 20, 2017 at 22:41
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    @Reactor4 You could say that, but it would be an unusual, and probably inappropriate thing to say, depending on the context. Using "in accordance with" with respect to a document, like a legal contract, that is prescriptive is not unusual. "In accordance with the Geneva Convention..." is something that would sound right to a native English speaker. If all you mean to say is "this is what Susan said" then accordance is the wrong word. If Susan is the boss and you're pointing out her ruling or orders, then maybe you could use "accordance" in that situation.
    – Joel Brown
    Jul 21, 2017 at 11:13
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    OH thank you for that! I've been using this expression a lot although I am sure that I haven't heard any native speaker saying such thing. This may be because in an academic context, my way of iterating my opinions becomes convoluted, cumbersome and somewhat sounding fake. I don't know why. Thank you again!
    – Reactor4
    Jul 22, 2017 at 17:32
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    This shows why research is considered vital on ELU. Merriam-Webster says that 'according to' is used reasonably commonly in not just one but in three different senses: << Definition of according to: 1: in conformity with 2: as stated or attested by 3: depending on >>. Mar 4, 2021 at 13:07
  • Technically correct is the best kind of correct. We shouldn't let inconvenient things like the context provided by a question influence the full disclosure of the richness of human language in an answer.
    – Joel Brown
    Mar 4, 2021 at 16:27

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