“In The Agenda” or “On The Agenda? (Correct Version)

Although “agenda” is a plural noun, it is most often used in the singular sense of “an agenda”, referring to a collection of items on a list. So, do we refer to an item on a list, in a plan, as being “on the agenda” or “in the agenda”?

 Is It “In The Agenda” or “On The Agenda”?

“On the agenda” is the correct form to use when “agenda” refers to a list of items planned for a meeting or an upcoming time period. However, “in the agenda” can be used when “agenda” has the meaning of a “physical diary for planning”.

in the agenda or on the agenda

As “on the agenda” is the correct form for items on a list, whether written in a diary or not, it will always be correct. However, you will still hear the structure “in the agenda” when used in the narrower sense of events or appointments entered in a diary.

 In The Agenda

 “In the agenda” is used in the particular case where an “agenda” means a diary. This carries the meaning of forthcoming events and appointments recorded “in” a physical book. In this case, “agenda” is a singular noun, and the plural form is “agendas”.

Since an agenda, in the sense of a physical diary, is owned by one person or a team of people, a personal pronoun is usually added, so that it is referred to as “in my agenda”, “in her agenda”, and so on. Here are some examples of how to use “in the agenda” in a sentence.

  1. After consulting the official program, he entered the dates and times of the most important meetings in his desk agenda.
  2. I always forget to update my agenda, so I prefer to use the calendar on my laptop.
  3. She asked her secretary to make a note of the flight arrival time in her agenda.
  4. All the team briefings scheduled for March and April have been updated in the office agenda.
  5. The band will be touring next month, so remember to put the dates of the concerts in your agendas!

On The Agenda

“On the agenda” is used to refer to a list of items scheduled to be discussed in a meeting or program. Although “agenda” is technically the plural of “agendum”, “agenda” is commonly used as a singular noun with a plural sense, as in a collection of items.

“Agenda” also conveys the broader sense of an overall motive or strategy. It is often used with a personal pronoun, for example “on his agenda”, to convey the meaning of personal objective or political ambition. Here are some examples of how to use “on the agenda” in a sentence.

  1. The company secretary read out the list of items on the agenda for the meeting.
  2. On the agenda for the following week are the debate on the fuel crisis and the delayed vote on Sunday trading hours.
  3. Although they were content to discuss the proposals for a peaceful solution, the surrender of weapons was never on the agenda.
  4. They won the election on the strength of support for their ecopolitical agenda.
  5. It is clear that he has his own agenda and so he is not likely to compromise on the deal.
  6. The next item on the agenda is the proposed plan to construct a motorway next to the town.
  7. Her speech seemed to be consistent with company policy, but her actions revealed her underlying personal agenda.

Which Phrase Is Used The Most?

As confirmed by the graphical representation on Google Ngram Viewer, the phrase “on the agenda” is employed much more frequently than “in the agenda”.

in the agenda or on the agenda english usage

Although this has always been the case, the steady decline in the use of “in the agenda” reflects the replacement of physical diaries with online calendars.

Final Thoughts

An “agenda” refers to a list of items in a schedule. Since items added are said to be put “on a list”, it is always correct to say, “on the agenda”. The structure “in the agenda” can be used in the very specific case where “agenda” means “diary”.