I often overuse the idiom "with respect to" - it's my default phrase when I'm writing formally and want to restrict the domain of a statement. e.g.

X is changing with respect to Y ...

Changes with respect to Z ...

With respect to A, ...

What are some alternatives to using this idiom?

  • en.wiktionary.org/wiki/with_respect_to
    – RegDwigнt
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 14:15
  • I think this is Not Constructive, since there are many ways you can vary your choice of words/phrase structures to avoid repeating yourself. And if there was a "correct" answer, you'd probably end up overusing that instead. But you could use "relative to", "as regards", "regarding", etc. in many contexts. Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 14:18
  • 1
    Wasn't this exact question asked a couple of days ago? I'm sure it was, but I can't find it.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 14:25
  • Another word to use is "about". But more important is the particular sentence that you want to write and the context of that sentence. Nothing exists in isolation, so asking isolating questions about what word you can replace with another is ultimately pointless. That's a major principle of writing, just as it is of biology: an organism that's evolved is like most complex life forms, but one that's slapdash tossed together is a Frankenstein's monster. Same's true for paragraphs, letters, sentences, phrases, books, etc.
    – user21497
    Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 14:38
  • @AndrewLeach, re “exact question asked a couple of days ago”, I doubt it. Perhaps you are thinking of Alleged misuse of the word 'respective' or of Can a sentence start with "due to", Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 15:12

2 Answers 2


As regards; with reference to; concerning


Re (“About, regarding, with reference to; especially in letters and documents”) is useful, or in law documents, in re (“(chiefly law) In the matter of; with regard to”). But in some of your examples, just drop out the “with respect to” phrase and its object; for example, in “X is changing with respect to Y” either X is changing on its own and one can say “X is changing” or X is not changing, in which case one usually need not say it is changing.

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