Crafting a piece of business correspondence, but don’t know whether to use the phrase ‘in regard to’ or ‘in regards to’? We can help you out with that, plus teach you how to use the phrase correctly in a sentence. We’ll also define the phrase to make it easier to do that.
The short answer is that both are acceptable to use. They have identical meanings. However, ‘in regard to’ is typically used in formal settings, whereas ‘in regards to’ is more of a casual phrase and is usually not included in writing.
As briefly mentioned above, the terms are identical in meaning. So, you can use either phrase, depending on the context.
We discussed that ‘in regard to’ is more of a formal way to write or say the phrase, and ‘in regards to’ is more of a casual version of the phrase. That’s the only real difference.
Let’s quickly define the phrase by taking a closer look at the word ‘regard.’ The word regard is considered a noun and a verb, so let's define both versions.
The Merriam-Webster definition of the word ‘regard’ is defined as: “a protective interest: care,” “attention, consideration,” “a feeling of respect and affection: esteem,” “regards: friendly greetings implying such feeling,” “the worth or estimation in which something or someone is held,” “an aspect to be taken into consideration: respect,” “look, gaze,” “a basis of action or opinion: motive,” “appearance,” and “intention.”
As a verb, it can be defined as: “to consider and appraise usually from a particular point of view,” “to pay attention to: take into consideration or account,” “to look at,” “to show respect or consideration for,” “to hold in high esteem,” “to relate to,” “to look at attentively: gaze,” and “to pay attention: heed.”
Some synonyms of the noun version of the word include:
Synonyms of the verb include:
There are other phrases that use the word ‘regard.’
Confusing phrases that seem similar might trip you up occasionally. Let’s clear up a few of them similar to ‘in regard to’ vs. ‘in regards to.’
A lot of people get confused when it comes to this term. In American English, you ‘fill out a form.’ Fill in a form is still acceptable in some places outside the U.S.
People often use these two phrases interchangeably, but when you use ‘located in,’ it suggests that you’re within the confines of a location with borders. ‘Located at’ doesn’t necessarily suggest you’re (or the subject in the sentence is) in a confined place.
This is another one where the terms mean the same thing, but you can use these interchangeably, as there really is no difference. Whether you ‘sit in a chair’ or ‘sit on a chair’ makes no difference.
Now that we’ve learned a bit more about the phrase (and the words within it), we can move on to using the phrase correctly in a sentence.
Take a look at some examples of how to use it:
Here’s how you’d use just the word ‘regard.’
In a casual setting, you'd simply replace the word 'regard' with 'regards.'
To recap, we discussed that both phrases are okay to use. However, the phrase version without the 's' is most commonly used. The other is used more casually.
If you ever get stuck, don’t be afraid to come back here and refresh your memory. We’ve got a ton of other articles dedicated to explaining confusing words in the English language. Bookmark it and pop back over whenever you need to.
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