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Regard vs. Regards: Which is Correct?

In certain situations, we use the word "Regard" and in other situations, we use the word "Regards." Which is correct? Go to grammar.com to read about the uses of "Regard" and "Regards." Relax and enjoy.


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  Teri Lapping  —  Grammar Tips
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Regard vs. Regards: Which is Correct?

Do we say, “in regard to” or “in regards to”?
Do I “send you my regard” or “send you my regards”?
Do you end your correspondence “with best regard” or “with best regards”?

"Regard" or "regards." How do we know which one to use?

In this article, I will first define and discuss the word “regard." To further clarify, I will then look at two other phrases that use the word “regard/s.” Finally, I will conclude by summarizing what has been discussed.

The word “Regard” – Definition and Meaning

The word “regard” is both a noun and a verb. 

As a noun, the word “regard” comes to us from the mid-14th century Old French “regart, regarder,” meaning “to take notice of.”

The noun form of “regard” is defined as “a feeling of affection, best wishes, a protective interest, esteem, consideration, admiration, respect, motive, care, favor.” 

So, when using "regard" as a noun, should we say “regard” or “regards”? 

It depends if we want to use a singular or a plural noun. 

For example: 
“I have the highest regard for her artwork.” This is a singular noun.
“Send my regards to your grandmother.” This noun is now plural. We are sending all of our regards to the grandmother.

As a verb, the word “regard” also comes from 14th century Old French “regarder,” meaning “to look at, to heed, to notice, to consider.”

As a verb, its meaning changes from when it is used as a noun. The verb form of “regard” is defined as “to gaze at, to look at, to hold in the highest esteem, to behold, to eye, to discern, to observe, to perceive, to view, to judge.”

So, when using "regard" as a verb, do we say “regard” or “regards”?
 
It is conjugated like any other verb: that is, “I regard, you regard, he-she-it regards, we regard, they regard.” 

For example:
“I critically regarded my steak to make sure that it is well done.”
“He regards her choice of clothes as sublime.”


Two Other Phrases that Use the word “Regard.”

1. “In regard to” or “In regards to”: Definition and Meaning

The phrase “in regard/s to” is a prepositional phrase from the mid-15th century which introduces or refers to the central topic.  It means “concerning, about, on the subject of.”  

For example:
“In regard to his recent behavior, I am inclined to turn a blind eye.”
"The phone call was in regards to the building’s contract.”

Should we say, “in regard to” or “in regards to”?

Both “in regard to” an “in regards to” are considered correct. Their meanings are the same. 

However, there is a pecking order. 

“In regards to” is used in casual speech and written examples are harder to find, whereas “in regard to” can be found in more formal writing.

Many grammarians frown on the use of “in regards to,” finding it the inferior phrase. To avoid its use, the phrase, “in regard to” can be used exclusively. Or the issue can easily be avoided by using a simple single word preposition that means the same thing, such as “regarding.”


2. ‘With regard to” or “With regards to”: Definition and Meaning

These two phrases have two separate meanings. 

*Both “with regard to” and "with regards to" mean “concerning, regarding, on the subject of.” 

Using "regards" in this case is considered acceptable, although many people feel it is inferior. 

For example:
“With regard to Mary’s dress, we like both the color and the style.”
“With regards to the pizza, I would prefer mine with onions and mushrooms.”
 

*“With regards to” also means “sending well wishes to someone." Using "regards" with this meaning is considered correct. 

For example:
“Give our regards to Mary; we haven't seen her in such a long time.” 

Final Thoughts

We have seen that there are three separate meanings related to “regard.” They each require consideration when choosing whether to use an “s” or no “s.”

1. When the word is a noun, you can use both “regard” and “regards.”

The singular “regard,” the plural “regards,” and the phrase “with regards” all mean “esteem, respect, best wishes.” 

2. When the word is a verb, you can use both “regard” and “regards.”

“Regard” is a verb meaning “to view, to consider” so we conjugate it in all its verb forms.

3. When the word means, "regarding" or "in reference to," the preferred usage is without an "s."

This applies to phrases such as: “in regard to," and “with regard to.” 

Although traditional grammarians insist that the proper use of the word is without an "s," in today’s modern world, we hear “regards” used by credible speakers; it can be found in literary works and edited newspaper articles, as well. 

A Practical Tip: If you want to be on the safe side in these instances, just use the word “regarding” and forget the rest. 

 
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