The oft-used phrase "all are agreed" doesn't make grammatical sense to me.

It means "all agree" or "all agreed", or even "all are agreeing", with "all" being the subject.

"All are agreed" instead appears to make "all" the object, with some unspoken subject, as might be the case with "all are accredited" or "all are married". So what would be the subject here?

Or is the phrase just an idiosyncratic idiom? And if so, I wonder how it came about?

(Of course, it could mean "all are engaged in being greedy" I suppose :-) )

  • Why do you say all is the object of those other sentences? – Damila Apr 1 at 4:31
  • Nothing idiosyncratic about it. (of two or more parties) holding the same view or opinion on something. "all the republics are agreed on the necessity of a common defence policy." It's just used as an adjective here. – user405662 Apr 1 at 5:37
  • @Damila Because "Joe and Mary are accredited" means that somebody else has accredited them. "Joe and Mary are married" means that a pastor (for example) performed the marriage. Or you could say that Joe married Mary, and vice versa. In these cases 'are x-ed" means that an x action was done to the x-ee(s). – gwideman Apr 1 at 6:31
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    I had missed by initially, that's why I rewrote the sentence. I don't know how to proceed further with this question. Sorry I couldn't help. :) – user405662 Apr 1 at 9:23
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    @user405662 Thanks for the discussion. I see dictionaries may or may not list "agreed" as an adjective modifying the agreed-upon topic (minus "about"), and they may or may not list it as an infinitive/adjective modifying agreeing persons ("we are agreed"). M-W claims the form "I agreed <topic> with him" is chiefly British, which explains my finding that more familiar. Perhaps these various uses of "agreed" (as adjective minus "with", "upon" etc, or "to be agreed") just arose by erosion despite not-quite-grammatical agreement with the past form of "agree". – gwideman Apr 1 at 21:17

To be agreed is an idiomatic expression, often followed by the preposition “on” or the conjunction “that”:

if people are agreed, they have discussed something and agree about what to do:

be agreed on

  • All parties are now agreed on the plan.

be agreed that

  • We’re all agreed that we cannot spend what we have not earned.

(Longman Dictionary)

  • Yes, I think I already demonstrated that I know what the phrase means. I'm asking how that makes sense grammatically, and if it doesn't, then how did it get that way. – gwideman Apr 1 at 6:34
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    @gwideman - agreed is an adjective here. dictionary.cambridge.org/it/dizionario/inglese/agreed – user 66974 Apr 1 at 8:06
  • Yes dictionaries are obliged to report how words are used, regardless of grammar :-). You happened to find a dictionary that reports "agreed" as an adjective/infinitive both for the agreers ("we are all agreed"), and for the agreed-upon topics ("the agreed price"). Other dictionaries may or may not include one or the other, it appears. But my question is not about whether these are currently used (they are), but rather about how they do or don't derive from "to agree"'s simple past tense "agreed". – gwideman Apr 1 at 21:34
  • @gwideman - “agreed” in “we are agreed” does derive from verb form to agree. Past participle of some verbs are often used also as adjectives.. given, taken..etc. – user 66974 Apr 1 at 21:55

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