Addenda vs. addendum

When it comes to writing contracts, it’s imperative to use the right contract terminology and vocabulary.

After all, even the smallest mistake hidden in an agreement could leave room for it to be considered invalid in a court of law or for the other party to take issue with it. 

One common issue comes down to whether to use ‘addendum’ or ‘addenda’.

As they both refer to extra legal necessities and information that usually come at the end of a contract, it can be easy to get confused between the two.

To discover the difference between addendum and addenda — and to find out how they’re both used in contract agreements — read on. 

Addendum vs. addenda: what’s the difference?

When it comes to contract management best practices, it’s important to keep in mind that legal agreements are live documents that can be changed or adjusted over time. 

The most common way in which contracts are modified is through an addendum or addenda.

Both of these refer to similar things with the same function, but it’s important to know whether you should be using the former term or the latter. 

Here are some definitions to help you.

Addendum definition

In a contract, an addendum is an attachment that you use to add something to the terms of the agreement.

It can also be used to clarify something that was unclear in the original document. 

There are lots of reasons why you might want to do this: maybe you need to extend the period the contract covers or change some pricing details due to external conditions. 

Using an addendum lets you make basic modifications without having to change substantial parts of the contract. 

Addenda definition

On the other hand, a contract has addenda when there’s more than one addendum attached to it—it’s simply the plural version of the term. 

If you want your contract generation process to be as professional as possible, you should use this version of the word when referring to multiple addendums.

Addenda vs. addendum examples

To help you know whether to use the term addenda or addendum in your legal documents, we’ve included some example sentences.

Addenda: example sentence

This contract has three attached addenda that clarify the terms outlined in Section A.

Addendum: example sentence

I’m going to write an addendum for this contract to add a confidentiality clause.

When are addenda commonly used?

Although you obviously want to cover everything you need to in the original contract, this isn’t always possible.

That’s why addenda are so useful. 

However, you should be careful of the difference between an addendum vs. an amendment: the former is not intended to make major changes to the agreement. 

Examples of when addenda are commonly used include:

  • Warranty addenda. These clarify the terms of the warranty in a sales agreement.
  • Negotiation addenda. These come out of the negotiation process — for example, they might explain further licensing agreements. 
  • Sales addenda. In sales contracts, details such as delivery agreements are usually attached separately via an addendum.

Keep your contracts and documents clear and concise

The difference between addenda and an addendum is simple: it’s just about how many of them you’re including.

That said, keeping on top of multiple addenda when looking after a contract can be difficult.

That’s where PandaDoc’s contract management software can come in handy.

This enables you to store and manage all your contract addenda in one secure, cloud-based location, so you never have to worry about losing important legal documents again.

Why not try it today?