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A traffic cop stopped John and gave him a fine/ticket for speeding.

Hi,

Do both fine and ticket fit in the above and mean about the same to you? Thanks.
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Comments  
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Strictly speaking, police officers do not give fines; they only issue tickets (citations). The court fines the offender.
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I have no doubt ticket is correct. But I think fine is correct as well.

Here's a definition for fine:

A sum of money required to be paid as a penalty for an offense.

MM, so I wonder, what's your meaning of strictly speaking?
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We should not give money to the police officer. In careful English, fine is wrong.
MM, that's a good point. I notice in your earlier example, you used 'the court' instead of 'the judge' which is consistent with your reply. Just to really make sure I get this right, saying "The judge fined the offender" is not correct/natural, strictly speaking, am I right?
The judge usually decides the amount of a fine to be paid, so in a sense the judge fines the person who committed the offence. The fine is issued by the court.
In some countries, the receipt of a ticket will result in a "fixed-penalty" fine. So if I am stopped by the police, they will give me a ticket. I do not have to go to court, unless I dispute the ticket. I simply pay the fine, and that is the end of the matter. So, although the police have issued a ticket, they have in effect issued a fine. The fine is not paid to the police at the time of receiving the ticket, but must be paid to the authorities within a certain number of days.
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optilang So, although the police have issued a ticket, they have in effect issued a fine. The fine is not paid to the police at the time of receiving the ticket, but must be paid to the authorities within a certain number of days.
The police officer issues the ticket = piece of paper. The fine is the penalty, the amoung the person has to pay. They are two different things. As someone has mentioned, the ticket or citation can be contested in some cases. This is done before the fine = $$$ is determined or at least confirmed in the case of a set amount.
Hi Angliholic,
Mr. Micawber is right. A fine in the means the amount of money paid as penalty. A ticket (more correctly known as citation) could be looked at as a transaction invoice which the violator must sign to acknowledge whatever the violations the cop decided to charge him with.

That said, if a cop issues a ticket to someone visiting a country, he may just be doing his job and the visitor must have violated some kind of traffic law. But if a cop issues a fine while you are visiting a well-known corrupt country, you can be sure that the traffic stop is a bogus traffic violation and chances are you must pay the fine to avoid further harassment. The fine is collectable on the spot and he does not take checks. That’s part of the fringe benefits being a cop in some 3rd world countries. .
When I was stopped by the police in the country where I reside, the policeman was able to decide the amount of the fine, within a given range. He wrote this amount on the ticket, together with the number of points to be added to my licence. He then gave me the ticket, and I had 7 days to pay the fine.
So he gave me a fine and a ticket at the same time.
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