With Regard To or With Regards To: What’s the Difference Between the Two?

Marcus Froland

Understanding the finer details and nuances of the English language can seem daunting, but mastering them will significantly improve your professional writing and formal communication skills. One such example is the common confusion between the phrases “with regard to” and “with regards to.” Knowing the difference will help you maintain correct English grammar and enhance the credibility of your work.

To begin grasping these subtleties in the English language, we will examine the distinctions between the two phrases, their proper usage, and the importance of using the correct form. Before you know it, you’ll be well-versed in these language nuances, empowering you to communicate more effectively and professionally.

Introduction to ‘With Regard To’ and ‘With Regards To’

English language nuances often lead to confusion among speakers, and the phrases ‘with regard to’ and ‘with regards to’ are no exception. In this section, we address the distinction between these two phrases and why it is essential to use them correctly.

A Common Source of Confusion in English Usage

Many English speakers inadvertently use the phrases ‘with regard to’ and ‘with regards to’ interchangeably, leading to grammar mistakes and affecting language accuracy. The primary source of confusion lies in not understanding the significance of singular versus plural forms of ‘regard’.

To clarify, ‘with regard to’ is the grammatically correct phrase, while ‘with regards to’ is erroneous. The former means “in respect to” or “in relation to” and is suitable for use in both casual and formal contexts. The incorrect usage of ‘with regards to’ stems from the misuse of the plural form ‘regards’, which represents good wishes or affection, rather than introducing a topic or concern.

Example: Correct usage – “With regard to your recent email, I have a few suggestions.”
Incorrect usage – “With regards to your recent email, I have a few suggestions.”

Why the Distinction Matters

Understanding the difference between ‘with regard to’ and ‘with regards to’ is crucial because it conveys formality and professional language usage. The misuse of these phrases might reflect poorly on the speaker or writer, indicating a lack of attention to detail and potentially leading to misunderstandings. This is especially true in formal settings such as business communications or literature, where the importance of grammar is paramount.

  1. Misusing the phrases can result in confusing or ambiguous messages
  2. Using incorrect grammar may negatively affect the reputation or credibility of the speaker or writer
  3. Appropriate language use demonstrates an individual’s professionalism and attention to detail

By learning the correct usage of ‘with regard to’ and avoiding the incorrect ‘with regards to’, you can maintain better communication in both personal and professional settings.

The Correct Usage: ‘With Regard To’

Incorporating proper grammar usage and English writing best practices is essential for effective and professional communication. One common error that frequently appears in both written and spoken English is the misuse of the phrases “with regard to” and “with regards to.” The correct phrase to use in most situations is with regard to, where the singular noun “regard” reflects the intended meaning of “respect” or “relation.”

“Please provide more information with regard to the project deadline.”

Using the correct term allows for clearer expression and better understanding of your ideas in various contexts. It’s especially crucial in professional settings where precision and accuracy in language can significantly impact your credibility.

  1. Correct: The manager asked the employees to provide feedback with regard to the new policy.
  2. Incorrect: The manager asked the employees to provide feedback with regards to the new policy.

Replacing “with regards to” with the accurate phrase “with regard to” might seem like a small change, but it can make a significant difference in the quality of your communication and the impression you leave on your audience. To maintain consistency and clarity in your writing, always use “with regard to” over the improper “with regards to.”

Breaking Down the Phrase ‘With Regard To’

‘With regard to’ is a commonly used phrase in the English language, serving as a prepositional phrase to convey the subject under discussion. In this section, we will explore the meaning behind the phrase and its importance in maintaining formality and professionalism in communication.

The Meaning Behind the Phrase

The phrase ‘with regard to’ literally means “with respect to” or “in relation to.” It functions as a connector within sentences, bridging the gap between two distinct ideas or topics. When used appropriately, this phrase can enhance communication clarity and improve overall understanding.

Example: “With regard to the new policy, employee feedback has been generally positive.”

In this example, the phrase ‘with regard to’ introduces the topic of the new policy and sets the stage for discussing employee feedback. By using this phrase, the writer clearly and effectively conveys the subject matter and allows for a smoother flow of information.

Formality and Professionalism in Language

In both written and spoken communication, the formal expression is often preferred in professional settings. Synonyms such as ‘about,’ ‘regarding,’ and ‘concerning’ are sometimes seen as less formal alternatives. However, the phrase ‘with regard to’ carries a distinctly formal tone that is better suited for professional exchanges.

  1. Classical Literature: One popular example of ‘with regard to’ in classical literature is Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” where the author utilizes the phrase to craft her narrative and convey intricate details about characters and settings.
  2. Business Communications: As the phrase improves communication clarity, it is widely used in business communications like email correspondence discussing invoices, policies, or project updates.

Maintaining a formal and professional tone is essential in certain situations and industries. By using the phrase ‘with regard to,’ individuals can maintain a polished and sophisticated style in their conversations and written content.

The Incorrect Variant: Understanding ‘With Regards To’

One of the most common language mistakes that people make is using the phrase ‘with regards to’ instead of the correct form ‘with regard to.’ This seemingly minor grammatical error can cause confusion and give the impression of casualness or inattention to detail, particularly in formal and professional contexts.

The confusion arises from the subtle difference between regard and regards— two similar-looking words that actually have distinct meanings. While the noun ‘regard’ refers to “respect” or “relation,” ‘regards’ carries the meaning of “good wishes” or “affection.” Thus, using ‘with regards to’ in place of ‘with regard to’ implies sending warm wishes, which is irrelevant and incorrect in the context of discussing a topic or concern.

“With regards to your recent proposal, we found many strengths and opportunities for improvement.”

In the above example, the use of ‘with regards to’ is incorrect, since the speaker is discussing the specific topic of the proposal, not sending best wishes. The proper phrasing would be ‘with regard to.’

To avoid making this grammatical error, try to remember the singular form ‘regard’ when discussing a subject matter or expressing relation. Using various writing tools and apps, such as ProWritingAid or Grammarly, can also help identify and correct this common mistake, enhancing the quality of your written communication.

  • Incorrect: “With regards to our latest project, we need to focus on meeting deadlines.”
  • Correct: “With regard to our latest project, we need to focus on meeting deadlines.”

By consistently choosing the correct form ‘with regard to’ over the erroneous ‘with regards to,’ you will not only improve the accuracy of your language but also convey a more professional and polished tone in your written and verbal communication.

Common Misuse and Clarity in Communication

The phrase “with regard to” is frequently misused in both written and spoken English, leading to confusion and decreased clarity in communication. To demonstrate the importance of correct usage in various contexts, let’s examine some real-world examples drawn from literary works and business communication.

Examples from Literature and Business Contexts

In literature, “with regard to” has been used by renowned authors like Charlotte Bronte and Plato. These literary references showcase the phrase’s versatility and adaptability. Consider these examples:

“Is there any one article in which you differ with regard to the just and unjust?” – Plato, “The Republic”

“Well, and with regard to those whom you call false and true philosophers, do you think you have…”>

Alternatives to ‘With Regard To’ in Writing

Although ‘with regard to’ is a widely used phrase to maintain a formal tone, there are several writing alternatives that can be equally effective while offering less formality. Exploring different synonyms and employing language tools can help you achieve a concise and reader-friendly style.

Synonyms That Can Replace the Phrase

Depending on the context, you can use the following alternatives to ‘with regard to’ without altering the intended meaning:

  • Regarding
  • Concerning
  • About

Choosing the right replacement depends on the tone and style you want to convey. For instance, ‘about’ is less formal than ‘regarding,’ making it more suitable for casual conversations or written work.

Her presentation about the new marketing strategy was insightful and detailed.

When employing alternatives, make sure to maintain clarity in meaning and remain mindful of the intended audience.

Tips to Enhance Conciseness in Your Writing

To further improve the readability and conciseness of your writing, consider the following tips:

  1. Eliminate redundancy by shortening long phrases and removing unnecessary words
  2. Use active voice instead of passive voice
  3. Divide lengthy sentences into shorter ones
  4. Replace complex terms with simpler ones
  5. Utilize language tools and readability guides

One such language tool is ProWritingAid’s Readability Report, which assesses the clarity and simplicity of your writing, suggesting ways to improve efficiency. This tool can recommend replacing complex phrases like ‘with regard to’ with shorter synonyms, ultimately enhancing communication.

Original Phrase ProWritingAid Suggestion
With regard to Regarding
In light of Considering
At the present time Now
In the event that If

By effectively using these writing alternatives and adhering to the aforementioned tips, you can create a well-rounded, concise, and more readable piece, ultimately avoiding any confusion regarding the use of ‘with regard to’.

Professional Implications of Using the Right Phrase

In the world of professional communication, attention to detail is crucial. Using the correct phrase can make all the difference in how you come across to colleagues and clients. By choosing the right phrase, you can project a polished and knowledgeable presence, which not only sets a positive tone but also bolsters your credibility.

One way to ensure consistent quality in your writing is by mastering the use of ‘with regard to,’ as opposed to the common error of ‘with regards to.’ The former adds a touch of formality and professionalism, while the latter can give off an unintended meaning, adversely affecting the perception of your writing. Utilizing professional etiquette and avoiding language errors are key to maintaining a high standard in your written communication.

To avoid faux pas and maintain respectability in formal correspondence, consider using language tools and resources to help you perfect your grammar and phrasing. Platforms such as ProWritingAid not only detect incorrect usage but also suggest stylistic improvements that elevate the clarity and efficacy of your writing. By embracing correct phrases like ‘with regard to,’ you can ensure that your professional correspondence is all the more polished and poised for success.