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  1. Key Member
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    #1

    in/with reference to

    Hi, everyone.

    In Longman Dictionary of Common Errors:


    But in OALD says:

    in/with reference to

    (formal) used to say what you are talking or writing about

    http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionarie..._1?q=reference
    -----------------------------------------
    Also in Longman Dictionary:

    in/with reference to something
    formal used to say what you are writing or talking about, especially in business letters

    http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionar...e-to-something
    -------------------------------
    So I am confused. Which one is right?

    PS: If there is any grammatical error in my narrative, please correct it. I am grateful for your help.
    Last edited by kadioguy; 18-Mar-2017 at 02:28.

  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: in/with reference to

    I would use "with reference to" in preference to "in reference to". However, I don't think there's anything wrong with the latter.

    Take a look at the ngram which shows that the former overtook the latter around a century ago.

    https://books.google.com/ngrams/grap...e%20to%3B%2Cc0

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: in/with reference to

    I feel there's often a difference in usage between the two forms, based on the meanings/uses of the prepositions used. The following is merely my own advice for usage, with simplified explanation of my reasons. You do not have to follow it.

    If the phrase has a sense of how?, then use with/without reference. with/without phrases can show a way something is done. You can do something with pride/with difficulty/without thinking/with certainty, etc. Another way to say with reference to... is in a way that refers to...

    If the phrase has a sense of what?, then use in/not in reference. This is normally used with the copula be, and suggests 'a state of being in a relationship with'. A similar way to say in reference to... is relative to... or in relation to...

    So, to recap:


    • do something with/without reference to something
    • (not) be in reference to something
    Last edited by jutfrank; 18-Mar-2017 at 02:40. Reason: typo

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