Word Choice – In regard to …

BizWritingTip reader: “Will you explain with regard to, with regards to, in regards to, and in regard to? It is used so often in so many different ways. What is correct?”

BizWritingTip response: I agree. This phrase is often misused. With regard to or in regard to are interchangeable. They mean “with respect to.”

Examples (correct)
In regard to your question …
With regard to your request …

It is incorrect to put an “s” at the end of “regard” in this phrase.

Examples (incorrect)
In regards to your question …
With regards to your request …

You also have another option: as regards. This phrase means “about or concerning.” In this case, you put an “s” on regards. I remember it this way: There is an “s” on “as” so there is an “s” on “regards.” It is not followed by the preposition “to.”

Examples (correct)
As regards your question …
As regards your request …

However, if you really want to keep things simple, why not just use regarding? It will simplify things.

Examples (correct)
Regarding your question …
Regarding your request …

At this point, a number of people will want to ask about the use of regards when closing a letter or email. Yes, dear readers, when used as an expression of friendliness, regards does have an “s” on it.

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