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With Regard To vs. With Respect To — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 6, 2023
"With Regard To" and "With Respect To" are both prepositional phrases used to specify a particular topic or subject. They are often interchangeable and mean "concerning" or "in relation to."
With Regard To vs. With Respect To — What's the Difference?

Difference Between With Regard To and With Respect To


Key Differences

Both "With Regard To" and "With Respect To" are common phrases in the English language used to reference a particular topic or subject of discussion. When someone uses "With Regard To," they are pointing attention to a specific matter or issue. Similarly, "With Respect To" is employed to highlight or specify a certain point under consideration.
The origins of these phrases offer a deeper understanding. "Regard" in "With Regard To" comes from the notion of looking at something, giving it attention. Conversely, "Respect" in "With Respect To" draws from the idea of looking back or considering again. Both phrases, however, converge in meaning to indicate specificity.
Functionally, there's minimal distinction between "With Regard To" and "With Respect To." Both can introduce a topic or redirect a conversation to a new or specific subject. For instance, in a discussion about global warming, one might use either phrase to shift the focus to the melting polar ice caps.
Despite their similarities, subtle differences in tone or emphasis can be drawn based on context. Sometimes "With Respect To" might sound slightly more formal than "With Regard To." Still, in most contexts, they are used interchangeably without altering the intended meaning.

Comparison Chart


Concerning, in relation to
Concerning, in relation to


Used to specify or reference a topic
Used to specify or emphasize a topic


From the notion of giving attention
From the idea of looking back or reconsidering


Generally neutral, can be formal based on context
Slightly more formal than "With Regard To"


Can often be replaced with "With Respect To"
Can often be replaced with "With Regard To"

Compare with Definitions

With Regard To

They discussed the plan with regard to its feasibility.

With Respect To

Pertaining to.
There are concerns with respect to the proposal.

With Regard To

In relation to.
She made no comment with regard to the incident.

With Respect To

He spoke with respect to the ongoing challenges.

With Regard To

Referring to.
With regard to your inquiry, we will investigate.

With Respect To

Concerning a particular topic or subject.
With respect to our earlier discussion, I have some updates.

With Regard To

Pertaining to.
He had questions with regard to the new project.

With Respect To

Referring to.
With respect to your feedback, changes were made.

With Regard To

Concerning a particular topic or subject.
With regard to the recent policy changes, we should review them.

With Respect To

In relation to.
Her skills are excellent with respect to analytics.

Common Curiosities

Are there shorter alternatives to these phrases?

Yes, "regarding" or "about" can sometimes be used as shorter alternatives.

Can I start a sentence with either phrase?

Yes, both phrases can be used to start a sentence or introduce a topic.

Are "With Regard To" and "With Respect To" interchangeable?

Yes, they are often used interchangeably without changing the meaning.

Which is more formal: "With Regard To" or "With Respect To"?

Both can be formal, but "With Respect To" might sound slightly more formal in some contexts.

Do both phrases have the same origin?

No, "Regard" comes from the idea of looking at, while "Respect" comes from looking back or reconsidering.

Do these phrases have the same grammatical role?

Yes, they both serve as prepositional phrases to introduce or specify a topic.

Is one phrase more commonly used than the other?

Usage may vary based on region or context, but generally, they are both widely used.

Can either phrase be used to introduce a clarification?

Yes, both can be used to clarify or specify a point in a discussion.

Can these phrases be used in legal or official documents?

Yes, both "With Regard To" and "With Respect To" are often seen in legal or official documents.

Are these phrases specific to English?

The concepts might exist in other languages, but the exact phrasing is specific to English.

Are these phrases used in American English?

Yes, both phrases are commonly used in American English.

Can "With Regard To" and "With Respect To" be used in formal writing?

Yes, both are appropriate for formal writing.

Is it redundant to use both phrases in a single document?

While it's not inherently wrong, it's best to remain consistent to avoid redundancy.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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