Are "stipulate" and "determine" interchangeable? Can I say, "the Government Regulation is determined by the Presidential Decree", for instance, or simply use "stipulated" instead?

I read on the internet that "determine" means ‘to set limits’ while "stipulate" is 'to require (something) as a condition of a contract or agreement', but I don't really get it.


No. Neither colloquially nor in legal speak are they interchangeable. In law, a stipulation is a "formal legal acknowledgement and agreement made between opposing parties prior to a pending hearing or trial." For example, say you and I are litigating over a contract dispute. Sometimes it may be in our interest to stipulate to the fact that there was a valid contract. It increases in efficiency of the court system, saves money and time not arguing over obvious things, and generally just lets the proceedings address the topics required of them. To determine something, conversely, is simply to make a decision or to establish something as fact, often after research or measurements.

  • 1
    To simplify further, a "stipulation" whatever the context, is something agreed to by more than one person, while to "determine" something, is an act that can be done either unilaterally or by agreement.
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 21 '18 at 17:57

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