I've read that both are acceptable but "associated with" is superior. Is there ever a time that "to" is acceptable? Does it matter at all? I'm writing copy for a public website and want to make sure I get this right.
I arrived here looking for an answer to "associated with" or "associated to". Instinctively, and being English-speaking born and raised, "associated with" rings well in my ears. I agree with those who express preference for the use of this version.
If, as Elberich Schneider says, "these day" we can use either, then I choose to use "with". These days, lots of things are acceptable that are distasteful.
The quote from J.R. is from a publication in Quebec, where an English article is often a badly translated version of something written in French, or written by someone whose English is "not so good", and so I give it less than full credence, even though the topic of the effects of pesticides is fascinating.
So, I am "with" those who vote for "associated with".
From my experience as an editor for an international journal, I often see "associated to". When I have noted the authors' affiliation, they were not American. "Associated" is not listed in Garner's Modern American Usage, which sometimes indicates when something is standard British English. It is also not listed in the style guides for the journal I work for, The Economist, or The New York Times. In searching for "associated to" and "associated with" on The Economist web site and my journal's web site, I found both were used. Once in The Economist, they were both used in the same article (http://www.economist.com/node/14115951). In that article, "associated with" was used in a quote from the World Bank, whereas "associated to" was used by the author. However, "associated with" was much more common in both my journal and The Economist.
My conclusion is that "associated with" is preferred, but "associated to" is acceptable.
Both constructions are widely used but there is an important difference between the two:
- "Associated to" implies a hierarchical dependence where the entity being associated has a lower rank than the entity that becomes the receiver of the association. In "B is associated to A", A carries greater rank than B.
- "Associated with" implies equal rank. In "B is associated with A", A and B have equal rank and participation.
I have studied all the answers, but still found them wanting. I looked up the meaning of associate (verb) and found this: "to connect or bring into relation, as thought, feeling, memory, etc." (See associate on dictionary.com)
In the situation where I used it, I first brought one thing into relation to another thing, but not as a thought, feeling or memory (which is normal parlance). I was bringing them into relation as an association (like "the associations you have with a concept"). Analyzing the context in which I used the expression "associated to", I discovered I was improperly using the verb associate! I think that I used "to" with the verb associate because I substituted unconsciously the verb assign for it.
To wit, in a description of game rules, I assigned an ability to a color, and later conveyed that the ability is "associated to" the color. This may be wrong, because I meant to convey that the ability is now associated with that color, but I confused it with trying to say that the ability is assigned to that color. One way or another I made a grammatical error.
This discussion has helped me to resolve the situation. Perhaps this explains the confusion surrounding this subject. Please, check that your intended meaning of "associate" is correct, and that you did not unconsciously substituted the meaning of "assign" or "relate".
"Associate to" is being used a lot in my industry unfortunately (federal IT consulting in D.C.). It is incorrect, but because so many illiterates are using it in influential government publications, it is actually gaining widespread acceptance. When most of the country cannot use "lie/lay" correctly, thinks "I should have went" is correct, and will think you're weird if you say "She and I went to the store", there probably isn't much we can do to stop "associate to" from becoming the norm.
Interesting... I would ask (if I had to find a logic to this) the following question: What is the difference in meaning between the prepositions WITH and TO?
Let's consider the collocation of the verb RELATED and these two prepositions. Which is correct, "related TO" or "related WITH"? He is related to me; he is my brother. (Correct; it implies connection) He is related with me; he is my brother. (Incorrect; it implies collaboration)
If the grammatical object and subject of the sentence in which "associated" is used are in "collaboration", I would use WITH, while if they were in "connection" I would use TO.
Semantics aside, I would use WITH whenever a gerund follows, i.e., "The dangers associated with skydiving are undeniable." This is because TO followed by a gerund is non-standard (and doesn't look great...).
When you associate with somebody or something, you do so willingly.
When you are associated with somebody or something, others have noticed the relationship - perhaps close, perhaps tenuous - between you and the other (a politician associated with organised crime); (an actor associated with a particular charity)
When you are associated to somebody or something, you are following orders, or someone is putting you into a particular category: "While depression scores were inversely associated to CR among females (an increase in depression score was associated to lower CR),.." (CR is "cognitive restraint) Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience - Editor’s Pick 2021 edited by Nuno Sousa
And if you "associate to somebody or something", you should choose better words to describe wahtever it is that you are doing.