'Associated To' or 'Associated With' - Which is Correct?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on November 3, 2022

How do you know which phrase is correct – ‘associated to’ or ‘associated with’? This article will cover that and teach you how to use the phrase correctly in a sentence.

The short answer is that ‘associated with’ is the preferred and generally accepted way to say the phrase. However, ‘associated to’ can also be used in certain situations.

Acceptable Uses for ‘Associated With’ or ‘Associated To’

Learning the correct way to express this phrase is essential to learning English, as there are many more phrases like this, where you might struggle a bit to figure out the correct way to say it.

So, what’s the difference between the two? And which should you use (and when)? Let’s dive in. 

‘Associated With’ Versus ‘Associated To’

The two terms are so similar it's no wonder people get confused about which is the correct term.

But what’s the real difference?

Well, there’s really not much of a difference except when it comes to preference. While you’ll see the term ‘associated with’ most likely, you might also see some instances where ‘associated to’ is also used (but not as often as the former).

The verdict?

You can use both!

Definition and Meaning 

What does the phrase ‘associated with’ actually mean? Let’s discuss this before we learn how to use it in a sentence appropriately.

The word ‘associate’ can be defined as “to join as a partner, friend, or companion,” “to join or connect together: combine,” and “to bring together or into a relationship in any of various intangible ways (as in memory or imagination),” and “obsolete: to keep company with: attend,” according to Merriam Webster.

It’s also defined as “one associated with another: such as partner, colleague,” “an entry-level member (as of a learned society, professional organization, or profession,” and “a degree conferred especially by a junior college.”

The adjective is defined as “closely connected (as in function or office) with another: sharing in responsibility or authority,” “having secondary or subordinate status,” and “closely related especially in the mind.”

The word 'with' is a preposition and means "in opposition to: against," "so as to be separated or detached from," "used as a function word to indicate a participant in an action, transaction, or arrangement," and "used as a function word to indicate the object of attention, behavior, or feeling," according to Merriam Webster.

How to Use the Terms in a Sentence Correctly

Now it’s time to learn how to use the phrase in a sentence correctly.

Here are some examples of how to use ‘associated with’ in a sentence:

  • I don’t want to be associated with Tim anymore; he’s just too reckless and out of control.
  • The firm can’t be associated with you anymore after you got that DUI last week.
  • Dana is associated with some pretty shady characters; I’d be careful if I were you.
  • Why does she insist on being associated with such snobs; she’s such a nice girl.

Now take a look at some examples of how to use ‘associated to’ in a sentence:

  • These artifacts could be associated to the tribes of South Africa.
  • Those symptoms could be associated to her multiple sclerosis.

As you can see, the sentences using ‘associated to’ are a bit awkward when you say them out loud, which is why people don't generally use it too much.

Final Thoughts on ‘Associated To’ and ‘Associated With’

To recap, the term ‘associated to’ means pretty much the same thing as ‘associated with.’ The only difference is that the former is more accepted in society than the latter.

That means you’ll need to remember to use the former rather than its less popular counterpart, similar to phrases like 'on the weekend/in the weekend' and 'double check/double confirm.'

Whether you have trouble remembering the difference between apportion, portion, and proportion, or you don't know whether it's appropriate to say in or within or unto or unto, you can always pop back here and sift through our library of articles on confusing words.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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