Why can prepositions following a verb not affect the meaning of Verb Phrases that differ by only a preposition? I.e., what explains the semantic sameness between Verb Phrases that differ by only a preposition, but that both mean the same? I can't divine why, but to me 1 looks wrong and 2 correct.

Example 1: agree + DO (Direct Object) vs. agree on/with DO

[1.1. p. 93 Top. Textbook on Contract Law (2016 13 ed.) ] In English law, even where there is only an agreement between the parties to agree a price, it seems that the courts will enforce that agreement if at all possible once performance has begun.

[1.2. p. 187 Middle. A Practical Approach to Conveyancing (2017 19 ed.) ] If you are fortunate enough to agree a price reduction and you act for both borrower/ buyer and lender then, subject to your duty of confidentiality to your borrower client, you have a duty to inform the lender of the price reduction.


[1.3. p. 198 Top. White-Collar Crime: The Essentials (2012.) ] Price fixing offenses occur when competitors agree on a price at which goods or services should be sold.

Example 2: allowed + DO vs. allowed to DO

Robert Schütze. European Union Law 2 ed. 2018. p. 107. All emboldenings are mine.

From there, the Court reasoned as follows:

Consequently, observance of the general principle of equal treatment, in particular in respect of age, cannot as such be conditional upon the expiry of the period allowed [TO] the Member States for the transposition of a directive intended to lay down a general framework for combating discrimination on the grounds of age …

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    Whether a verb is transitive or not is pure convention. – Atamiri Nov 4 '17 at 15:08
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    Agree a price appears to be limited to British legal language. It's certainly not colloquial English. However, your question might be worth answering if you can get some better examples to show what you're talking about. – jlawler Nov 5 '17 at 21:48
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    This phenomenon is known as (symmetric) differential object marking (asymmetric DOM being alternation between DO marking and null marking, in languages that have an optional DO marker). – Keelan Aug 13 at 5:25

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