State of affairs

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The term state of affairs is a synonym of situation, i.e. it is used as a cover term for states, processes and actions.

  • “The term ‘State of Affairs’ is here used in the wide sense of ‘conception of something which can be the case in some world’.” (Dik 1997:105)


This term is used e.g. in Functional Grammar (Dik 1978, 1997) and in Role and Reference Grammar (Van Valin & LaPolla 1997).

Lyons (1977:483) used "state-of-affairs" in a non-technical sense as a synonym of state.



Perhaps state of affairs was first used in this sense by Dik (1978).


  • Dik 1978
  • Dik 1997
  • Van Valin & LaPolla 1997

other languages

German Sachverhalt