Food makes the human body survive, whereas Clothes decorate it. With decoration there comes propriety. (my translation for an ancient Chinese text)

By "with decoration there comes propriety" I mean that propriety orginated from the colors and patterns of clothes, or was mainly embodied in them in the early stage of human society. Can this "come with" mean such an abstract idea?

  • 2
    Comes with makes sense. There does not.
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 15:49
  • Agree, just drop the there, it does carry the abstract thought. In Latin, the phrase is Vestis virum reddit: "clothes make the man". Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can have both:

With decoration there comes propriety

With decoration comes propriety.

The latter I would consider to be the more normal these days.

Can this "come with" mean such an abstract idea?

Yes, as Spider-Man learns, "with great power comes great responsibility", which is far from the only example (or the original wording, just to pre-empt any comic-book pedants, though I'll note the original used there), but it is one such example of the "with … comes …" form with an abstract noun.

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