Regard vs. regards

  • The traditional distinction goes like this: the singular regard is correct in phrases like with regard to and in regard to where these phrases mean with reference to, while the plural regards means good wishes expressing respect, affection, or condolences. But while some people continue to insist that using regards in place of regard is simply incorrect, the old distinction is not consistently borne out in real-world, 21st-century usage. Regards is commonly used both ways, both in edited writing and elsewhere.


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    With regards to, etc.

    With regards to sushi offerings in Evanston, there are still many other fish in the sea. [Daily Northwestern]

    Reality television holds a unique position in the television landscape in regards to racial discourse. [AV Club]

    In 2009, he was charged with assault and criminal mischief in regards to his then wife. [Guardian]


    With regard to, etc.

    Times, then, have changed with regard to ideas of decorum for these ancient buildings and their custodians. [Telegraph]

    The platform makes no mention of changing bankruptcy laws in regard to pensions or disability payments. [Ottawa Citizen]

    Regards (traditional sense)

    Kurtz urged him to convalesce, and passed along his regards to those attending the dinner. [Coldwater Daily Reporter]

    The Watchdog and his pals send a chorus of woofs to the Kansas City traffic guys for giving their regards to Broadway. [Kansas City Star]



    1. This was helpful. Thanks.

    2. Yes, but…

      In the phrase “With regard to”, the “regard” is indeed a singular noun.

      However, in the phrase “As regards”, the “regards” is not a plural noun, it is a verb, in the third person singular, i.e. “as regards *whatever*…” (the *whatever* being the subject of the sentence).

      So, while the mixed-up version “With regards to” is indeed very common among native English speakers, that doesn’t make it correct, it’s just a very widespread error.

      • Ryan J Dunlop says:

        Unfortunately, widespread errors when used frequently enough become correct. That’s just how language works. I personally hate hearing “in/with regards to”: it grates on my ears. I likewise hate hearing “jealous” being used to mean “envious” or “nauseous” to mean “nauseated.” However, meanings have changed because of ignorant language users. Such is the way with language.

        • I agree whole heartedly

        • Just as people say irregardless. There is no such word but it is used often. Again, just because something is used over and over by many different people does not make it correct. Like people spelling cannot as two words when it is actually one word.

          • Ryan J Dunlop says:

            That’s not true. We now use “nice” to mean kind (when it used to mean ignorant); we now use “jealous” to mean both possessive and envious (when it used to mean only possessive). People used to think that “car” was an incorrect word; you’re supposed to say automobile.

            Words change meanings all the time, and we invent new words and new meanings for older words all the time. Language changes according to how people use it.

            Look up lexicography, and learn its practices. Lexicographers (the sociologists who inform and partly write dictionaries) only investigate usage and meaning; they don’t codify meaning or pontificate it by fiat from on high.

            • Hi, English is my second language and I’ve got a real passion for English language. Everyday I learn something new by reading something. I would love to speak and wright like a native.

              Would you please explain, what is the difference between Jealous & envy with examples as they mean kinda similar to me.


            • Ryan J Dunlop says:

              Apparently I didn’t realize that you’d asked this question until just now, 3 months later. Sorry about that.

              The word “jealous” now has two meanings: possessive and envious. A jealous boyfriend probably means that said boyfriend doesn’t like when his significant other spends time with people whom his significant other might be attracted to. That’s being possessive. Of course, “jealous” can also mean overprotective in a similar way. Jealous parents may try to prevent their offspring from dating.

              But “jealous” can now mean “envious”, which is how more and more people use it nowadays. In this meaning, someone is jealous if they want something that someone else has. The characteristic of someone who behaved that way used to be “envious” or “covetous”, not “jealous”. However, as a result of widespread misuse, “jealous” now also means envious, which is a rather new development (probably the last 50–60 years or so, but I’m not a lexicographer, so I don’t know for sure).

            • Mary Mantelli says:

              Hi Sami – I’ll let someone else answer your original question. I thought you might want to know that you chose an incorrect homonym in your last sentence. The word “wright” is a noun meaning one who makes or repairs something, such as a playwright or wheelwright. The word you wanted is “write” which is a verb which mean to form letters or numbers on a surface with an instrument like a pen or pencil, or to compose an essay, letter, novel, play, or other work to express yourself.

          • Emily Durland says:

            Ryan’s right. Man is the one who created language and its rules in the first place, which makes language and its usage subject to the voice of the people and not the other way around. Mel’s also right when he says that common usage does not (necessarily) make something correct. I would venture to say that something only becomes “correct” when the majority of the people deem it so. If most people started spelling cannot as can not and considering that to be correct, then it would become correct. “Cannot” is only considered correct because somebody decided once that’s how it should be, and the majority of the world currently agrees and upholds that as correct English grammar.

        • Liberalssuck says:

          Ya’ll need to get over yourselves. Geez! Although, I bet ya’ll ain’t gonna do it.

      • Eezapropageeza says:

        Yes, because regards is a particular form of “does”.

        Now a thing is, as a thing does. It is what it does. That’s why “to be” is a verb. “It does” So whatever “it” is, it is happening to be doing something at some particular time – Does.

        Doing means:- at the present period of time Does is currently proceeding to another form (completed, ended) by virtue of transformation. The Action: Being, from beginning to end.

        At the end of Something, Doesn’t or Did are used. To Walk for example, is a form of To Do. Walked is a form of Did. A walk is a noun. A noun is a Thing.

        Thing is as a Thing Does.

        If you are talking about many does’s, such as They, We, You (somebody says “you” to somebody else – 2 people…),


        the Does ITSelf, “I”.,

        then DO is used.

        This also happens to mean that Am, Are are forms of Do. IS, therefore is a form of Does.

        IS actually is a snapshot of a transformation in process being observed in third person.

        Was and Were are examples of Did, which used “to be”.

        You see?

        So, remember “as regards to”?

        Well I reckon “as regards to” isn’t that bad because, IT DOES.

        Like EVERYTHING ELSE does, too.

        I think?

    3. David E.M. Thompson says:

      ” . . . the old distinction is not consistently borne out in real-world, 21st-century usage.”
      Then change the name of your website to “21st Century Usage.”

    4. Nice to hear all these. But I have one more reservation especially with the use the phrases “On behalf of” and “In behalf of”. Many speakers would normally interchanged both in an oral communication.

    5. Why not just “regarding”? It is concise and has exactly the same meaning, unless you are writing a final paper for class and need some “fluff” to make your word minimum.

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