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Office of the Revisor of Statutes


In construing the statutes of this state, the following canons of interpretation are to govern, unless their observance would involve a construction inconsistent with the manifest intent of the legislature, or repugnant to the context of the statute:

(1) words and phrases are construed according to rules of grammar and according to their common and approved usage; but technical words and phrases and such others as have acquired a special meaning, or are defined in this chapter, are construed according to such special meaning or their definition;

(2) the singular includes the plural; and the plural, the singular; words of one gender include the other genders; words used in the past or present tense include the future;

(3) general words are construed to be restricted in their meaning by preceding particular words;

(4) words in a law conferring a joint authority upon three or more public officers or other persons are construed to confer authority upon a majority of such officers or persons; and

(5) a majority of the qualified members of any board or commission constitutes a quorum.


1941 c 492 s 8; 1986 c 444

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes