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'In Regard To' Versus 'In Regards To'

You may hear people say "in regards to," but the proper phrase is singular: "in regard to." But ugh! You send your (plural) regards. Here's how to make your sentences better, with a show tune thrown in for good measure. Also, take the quiz at the end!

By
Mignon Fogarty,
Episode #642
A written page to illustrate writing a letter regarding something.

Jackie H. asked, "Is it correct to say 'In regards to...' or 'In regard to...'? I have used 'regards' for many years, and now my boss has informed me that it is incorrect to say 'regards.' Yet, I see and hear it all the time."

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The correct phrase is "in regard to." You may be confused because "as regards" is another way to introduce a topic.

Many people believe both phrases are unnecessary business jargon. Better options, depending on the particular sentence, include "concerning," "regarding," "about," "in," and "with."

For example, this sentence is correct:

  •  This letter is in regard to your message dated January 5. 

But this sentence is better:

  •  This letter concerns your message dated January 5. 

And to me, this would be even better: 

  • This letter is about the message you sent January 5.

You may, indeed, hear the plural—“in regards to”—all the time, but it rarely shows up in edited text such as the kind you find in a Google Books search. The Oxford English Dictionary calls it “regional and nonstandard.”

A Google Ngram of regard, regards, and regarding.

Examples of ‘In Regard To,’ ‘With Regard To,’ and ‘Regarding’

Here are some examples of how these words are used in the wild. 

I’ve done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice. — Coco Chanel

"Because, he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you - especially when you are near me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. — Charlotte Brontë, “Jane Eyre”

Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular. But the realism is merely a mask for depression's actual essence, which is an overwhelming estrangement from humanity. — Jonathan Franzen, “How to Be Alone”

‘Send Your Regards’ or ‘Send Your Regard’?

To make things more confusing, the correct choice is the plural word when you’re sending someone greetings or asking someone to pass along your warm or affectionate thoughts to another person. You “send your regards” to someone; you don’t "send your regard.”

You might be able to remember this by singing the song "Give My Regards to Broadway" a few times.

Quiz

Choose the better word or phrase.

  1. I want to talk to you [in regard to/in regards to] the confetti incident.
  2. [Regarding/In regards to] your text message, let’s pretend it never happened.
  3. [Send my regard/Send my regards] to your mother.
  4. Shawna called me [regarding/about] your overdue library book.
  5. I have one rule [with regard to/with regards to] your driving: Always wear your seat belt.

Answers are on the next page.

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