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Incur vs. Occur: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 26, 2023
Incur means to experience or become subject to something, usually negative, as a result of one's actions, while occur refers to something happening or taking place.
Incur vs. Occur

Key Differences

Incur typically implies an action leading to a consequence, often negative, such as incurring a debt. Occur, on the other hand, simply denotes the happening of an event, like a natural occurrence, without implying direct human action or responsibility.
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Dec 26, 2023
Incurring something can imply a degree of volition or choice, even if unintended, such as incurring risk. Occurring is more about spontaneous or natural events, like a meteor shower occurring in the night sky.
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Dec 26, 2023
Incur is often used in legal, financial, or formal contexts, suggesting liabilities or responsibilities as a result of actions. Occur is more broadly used to indicate any event or situation happening, irrespective of human involvement.
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Dec 26, 2023
Incur often has a forward-looking implication, like incurring future obligations. Occur is generally used to describe events in the present or past, like an incident that occurred yesterday.
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Dec 26, 2023
Incurring usually involves outcomes directly linked to a person's actions, often burdensome, such as incurring a penalty. Occurring refers to a broader range of events, not necessarily linked to one's actions, such as an eclipse occurring.
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Dec 26, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Implication

Consequence of actions, often negative
Happening or event, neutral
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Agency

Implies personal involvement or responsibility
No implication of personal agency
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Common Contexts

Legal, financial, formal
General, across various contexts
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Temporal Aspect

Often forward-looking
Describes present or past events
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Nature of Outcome

Directly linked to actions, often burdensome
Broad range of events, not action-specific
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Incur and Occur Definitions

Incur

Incur means to suffer consequences from actions.
He incurred heavy losses in the business.
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Dec 26, 2023

Occur

Occur involves existing or being found.
This plant occurs naturally in the wild.
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Dec 26, 2023

Incur

Incur involves becoming subject to something.
They incurred debts during the project.
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Dec 26, 2023

Occur

Occur means something happens or takes place.
The festival occurs annually in the spring.
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Dec 26, 2023

Incur

Incur implies experiencing something as a result.
He incurred injuries in the accident.
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Dec 26, 2023
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Occur

Occur refers to being present or prevalent.
Such mistakes occur frequently in these reports.
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Dec 26, 2023

Incur

Incur can mean bringing something upon oneself.
By breaking the rules, she incurred a fine.
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Dec 26, 2023

Occur

Occur can imply coming to pass or transpiring.
A strange event occurred in the village last night.
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Dec 26, 2023

Incur

Incur can mean attracting something, often negative.
His remarks incurred widespread criticism.
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Dec 26, 2023

Occur

Occur can mean to manifest or appear.
Symptoms usually occur within two weeks of infection.
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Dec 26, 2023

Incur

To acquire or come into (something usually undesirable); sustain
Incurred substantial losses during the stock market crash.
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To take place; come about.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To become liable or subject to as a result of one's actions; bring upon oneself
Incur the anger of a friend.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To be found to exist or appear
Copper deposits occur in the region.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

(transitive) to bring upon oneself or expose oneself to, especially something inconvenient, harmful, or onerous; to become liable or subject to
Cruelty incurs calamity.
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To come to mind
The idea never occurred to me.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To render somebody liable or subject to
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

(intransitive) To happen or take place.
The liftoff will occur in exactly twelve seconds.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To enter or pass into
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

(intransitive) To present or offer itself.
I will write if the opportunity occurs.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To fall within a period or scope; to occur; to run into danger
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Occur

(impersonal) To come or be presented to the mind; to suggest itself.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To meet or fall in with, as something inconvenient, harmful, or onerous; to put one's self in the way of; to expose one's self to; to become liable or subject to; to bring down upon one's self; to encounter; to contract; as, to incur debt, danger, displeasure, penalty, responsibility, etc.
I know not what I shall incur to pass it,Having no warrant.
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To be present or found.
The chemical monofluoroacetate occurs in all parts of Dichapetalum cymosum, and is responsible for its toxic effects.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To render liable or subject to; to occasion.
Lest you incur me much more damage in my fame than you have done me pleasure in preserving my life.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To meet; to clash.
The resistance of the bodies they occur with.
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Oct 19, 2023

Incur

To pass; to enter.
Light is discerned by itself because by itself it incurs into the eye.
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To go in order to meet; to make reply.
I must occur to one specious objection.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Incur

Make oneself subject to; bring upon oneself; become liable to;
People who smoke incur a great danger to their health
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To meet one's eye; to be found or met with; to present itself; to appear.
In Scripture, though the word heir occur, yet there is no such thing as "heir" in our author's sense.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Incur

Receive a specified treatment (abstract);
These aspects of civilization do not find expression or receive an interpretation
His movie received a good review
I got nothing but trouble for my good intentions
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To happen; to take place; as, I will write if opportunity occurs.
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To come to the mind; to arise in the mind; to suggest itself; to be presented to the imagination or memory; - of an idea or thought; as, it never occurred to me to call John to ask.
There doth not occur to me any use of this experiment for profit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Occur

Come to pass;
What is happening?
The meeting took place off without an incidence
Nothing occurred that seemed important
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

Come to one's mind; suggest itself;
It occurred to me that we should hire another secretary
A great idea then came to her
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Oct 19, 2023

Occur

To be found to exist;
Sexism occurs in many workplaces
Precious stones occur in a large area in Brazil
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Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can natural phenomena occur?

Yes, natural phenomena like rain and earthquakes occur.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is incurring always intentional?

No, one can incur something unintentionally.
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Dec 26, 2023

What are some common examples of situations where one might incur expenses?

Examples include medical bills, repair costs, and legal fees.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can incur refer to positive gains?

Rarely, as it usually refers to negative outcomes.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is occur used in scientific contexts?

Yes, occur is commonly used in scientific descriptions.
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Dec 26, 2023

Can "incur" be used in a financial context?

Yes, it's commonly used in finance to describe costs, expenses, or debts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Is "incur" always followed by negative consequences?

Not always, but it often refers to situations involving negative outcomes or liabilities.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is "incur" more formal than "get" or "obtain"?

Yes, "incur" is generally considered a more formal word.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Can incur be used positively?

It's less common, as incur typically implies negative consequences.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Does occur always mean an accident?

No, occur can refer to any event, accidental or planned.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Is incur a legal term?

Incur is often used in legal contexts but not exclusively.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Does occur imply human involvement?

No, occur does not necessarily imply human involvement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Can "occur" be used in a scientific context?

Yes, "occur" is frequently used in scientific research to describe natural phenomena.
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Dec 26, 2023

What are some common examples of situations where events occur?

Examples include accidents, celebrations, natural disasters, and scientific observations.
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Dec 26, 2023

Is "occur" a formal or informal word?

"Occur" is a neutral word that can be used in both formal and informal contexts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

What is the past tense of "incur"?

The past tense of "incur" is "incurred."
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Can "occur" be used to describe thoughts or emotions?

Yes, it can be used in contexts like "It occurred to me that..."
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Can you incur something intentionally?

Yes, one can incur debts or expenses intentionally, such as taking out a loan or making a purchase.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

What is the past tense of "occur"?

The past tense of "occur" is "occurred."
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

Is "occur" synonymous with "happen"?

Yes, "occur" and "happen" are synonyms.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 26, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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