English is a tricky language with many nuances & parts of speech, making learning the language difficult for a new English learner or native speaker. A single “s” in a phrase, or even a word, can transform the meaning of that word, change it completely, or even simply be incorrect.
Two phrases that often confuse people are “in regard” and “in regards.” It’s easy to see why people often conflate the two in speech, but it’s still important to understand each phrase. Do they have a different meaning? When would you use each? Is there a correct way?
Keep reading to learn whether you should use “in regard” or “in regards” with examples to illustrate.
When to Use “In Regard”
Before jumping into when to use in regard or in regards, we must explain each phrase. Let’s start with discussing “in regard.” Remember that spelling is a basic writing convention that should be taken seriously!
“In regard” is usually used to refer to something. The complete phrase is “in regard to.” In a sentence, you place it before the subject it references, although you can place it at the beginning or in the middle, depending on the context.
Take the following example of “in regard” used in a sentence:
- In regard to your email, I think that we should meet in person next week.
There’s a simple grammar rule to help you know when to use “in regard to”: In general, if you can replace “in regard to” with “in reference to,” then you’re using the phrase right. However, as we’ll discuss later, you may not always want to use this phrase.
Here are a few other examples of “in regard” in a sentence:
- I’m calling in regard to your order.
- We’ve sent you an email in regard to your inquiry.
- In regard to your taxes, payment is due next week.
Now you know when to use “in regard,” but when do you use “in regards”? Just like with the terms gooses or geese, you need to pay close attention. Let’s take a look.
When to Use “In Regards”
Although you’ll see it used occasionally, “in regards” is incorrect. People typically confuse the phrases “in regards” and “as regards.” “As regards” has the same meaning as “in regards,” which is to introduce a subject. You’ll often see “as regards” at the beginning of a sentence.
Here are some examples of “as regards” in a sentence:
- As regards the rat problem, we’ve called an exterminator to deal with it.
- As regards to working a condensed schedule, you can do so upon manager approval.
- As regards to borrowing library books, you can only borrow up to 40 at a time.
However, without the preposition “in,” “regards” by itself is a correct phrase. Let’s elaborate.
“Regards” itself is a correct phrase. It is the shortened version of the phrase “send my regards,” meaning to send good wishes to someone. This is a term commonly used when writing a postcard or letter.
“Regards” is more flexible than “in regards,” as you can either use the full phrase (send my regards), use a shortened version of it “my regards,” or use it as a signature and simply end the note or email you’re writing with “Regards.”
Here are examples of when to use regards:
- Send my regards to your sister; I hope she’s feeling better.
- My regards to your family.
- Looking forward to hearing your response. Regards.
Still not sure when to use “in regard” or “in regards”? Let’s clear things up even more.
“In Regard” or “In Regards”? Which One Is Right?
“In regard” and “in regards” are often used interchangeably. However, this is the incorrect way to think about the two phrases.
The proper phrase to use when referring to something is “in regard to” or “as regards.”
That said, you don’t have to use either phrase in speech or writing, as they are often reserved for business writing. In fact, using “in regard to” isn’t even necessary for business writing these days, and the phrase is sometimes considered business jargon. And if you can’t master this spelling rule, give the Quillbot grammar checker a try!
The beauty of English is that there are many different ways to say the same thing. But just like with the words, ither or either, you have to be careful. If you want to avoid the confusion entirely, consider using one of these other options instead of using “in regard to”:
- In reference to…
Here’s an example of how to switch out “in regard to” for more concise language:
- Ok: We’ve sent you an email in regard to your inquiry.
- Better: We’ve sent you an email concerning your inquiry.
- Even better: We’ve sent you an email about your inquiry.
As mentioned, “in regards to” is an incorrect phrase. However, “regards” on its own is correct when you intend to send someone your best wishes. But keep in mind, just as is the case with “in regard,” “regard” is considered a very formal phrase. There are better and more casual phrases that you can use to convey the same meaning.
Here’s an example of how to switch out regards:
- Ok: Send my regards to Nancy.
- Better: Best wishes to Nancy.
The Verdict: Use Simpler Phrases
The simple answer to “in regard” or “in regards” is this: If you’re trying to reference something, the proper phrase is the singular “in regard.” If you want to express your best wishes to someone, then you use “regards.”
By now you know that small spelling changes make a big difference, like ladle vs ladel. Both phrases are more formal than often needed in most contexts. It’s best to stick to simpler phrases in your writing and communications, such as “about” or “best wishes.”