Inform about or inform regarding


Which one is more appropriate while professional emailing:

I have informed the referees about the letters


I have informed the referees regarding the letters.


Posted 2019-10-06T12:27:34.313

Reputation: 121

*I have informed the referees [in respect] of / with reference to / respecting / apropos / on the subject of / in connection with / vis-à-vis / ... the letters*. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2019-10-06T13:41:14.373

Which do you think is more professional between the two? Why? – AIQ – 2019-10-06T18:26:27.503

Does inform collocate with regarding? we are losing faith in all the standard grammar books.English does not have correctness.It depends on the ability of argument. – successive suspension – 2019-10-07T05:37:52.563

Really, here: about the letters. I have informed you about this. – Lambie – 2019-11-27T17:13:45.930

@successivesuspension - There's intelligibility, and there's natural diction... and sometimes a fine line between, as here. I'm not sure if I'd flag it in any way if I encountered it in the middle of an email and not in the context of a grammar question, actually. In any case, I recommend the first in my answer. – BadZen – 2019-11-27T17:26:18.437



  • I have talked to the referees about the letters. [most natural sounding in speech]

Why? Because in English, we talk to people about some subject.

  • I have talked to the referees regarding the letters. [is fine and also more formal as are all the other expressions below]

Why? Because in English, we talk to people regarding this or that matter.

And finally, all these expressions given by Fumble Fingers above:

[in respect] of / with reference to / respecting / apropos / on the subject of / in connection with / vis-à-vis /

would also work. They are all more formal than "talk about" and most likely might be found in writing and not in speech.

I would add to that list: with regard to and regarding

[Over the years, I have found in respect of and respecting to be slightly more British and with regard to and regarding more AmE.]


Posted 2019-10-06T12:27:34.313

Reputation: 26 929

Could you provide any occurrences of "informed... respecting" whatsoever? I wasn't certain about that one initially, but searched and could not... – BadZen – 2019-11-27T18:40:58.027

@BadZen I have informed the referees respecting this. Searching google will often not work. These types of usages are internalized. – Lambie – 2019-11-27T18:47:15.093

To be clear, I'm asking for some/any excerpts from some sort of published or otherwise documented written material where this occurs, not an "example". Like @successivesuspension above, I don't think "informed" and "respecting" or "regarding" colocate, but perhaps they have been used together in ways I have not encountered... – BadZen – 2019-11-27T18:51:45.800

It is not about collocating [two ls] with informed. It is about being able to substitute any or all of the phrases that mean: with regard to, at that place in the sentence. In fact, if could be at the beginning: With respect of the letters,we have informed the referees. It is sort of old fashioned but is used in the UK, especially in legal writing. (I have now said that three times I believe) – Lambie – 2019-11-27T19:38:38.250

Appeal against determinations arising from the approach taken by the High Court in respect of issues of forum conveniens and welfare. and: [...]when Actavis sought declarations for non-infringement in respect of the French, German, Italian, Spanish and UK designations [...] It can some after most nouns. informed the referees about [something]. It replaces about as do all the others.

– Lambie – 2019-11-27T19:41:38.390

Ok, we're confusing two things here. 1) "in respect of" - as I've said elsewhere, I'm certain this is in use, but it is a different denotation than the question author wants. I cited an OLD page on that subject. 2) "informed <object>... respecting". This is the one my ear is not sure about but for which I cannot find extant use and I was asking about. In any case we're way off-topic now, and it's not great to be cluttering the page with the comment back-and forth. Let's turn it into a separate question, maybe? – BadZen – 2019-11-27T19:45:49.630

You just have not grasped that any of the phrases that mean "about" can be substituted for it. So, it is not different than what the OP wants. See my answer. – Lambie – 2019-11-27T19:56:59.900


I have informed the referees about the letters

This sounds like you're making the referees aware that letters exist, or the content of the letters.

I have informed the referees regarding the letters.

Regarding elevates "letters" from a simple thing to an event.

So sounds a bit more like you're making the referees aware of some event that happened with the letters, or that the letters indicate a significant event.


Posted 2019-10-06T12:27:34.313

Reputation: 31 841

This is a good point; I think one connotation possible here is that "the letters" could stand in as a euphemism for something involving the letters that the speaker would rather not mention. In speech, if the speaker intended this s/he would probably signal with extra time stress on "the letters". – BadZen – 2019-11-27T17:50:45.610

Regarding is just more formal, like all the other variants. – Lambie – 2019-11-27T17:59:41.507


I have informed the referees about the letters.

is proper diction and sounds natural.

I have informed the referees regarding the letters.

is also correct, but perhaps a little less natural. So I would choose the first. (If you "wrote" or "spoke with" instead of "informed", it would sound completely natural with "regarding" - these are just more common.)

I have informed the referees in respect of the letters.
I have informed the referees with reference to the letters.
I have informed the referees respecting the letters.
I have informed the referees on the subject of the letters.

All of these are incorrect use and either sound wrong or awkward or do not convey the same meaning! Here's how to use some of these properly:

I have talked to the referees with respect to the letters.

The propositions are incorrect above - the phrase is "with respect to, not "in respect of". People would understand you, but it will sound wrong.

I have informed the referees, with reference to the letters.

This is correct usage, but different meaning. The speaker has informed the referees about /something else being discussed/, which is contextual, and additionally made reference do the letters while doing so. You would not say "with reference to" if there was not something that the "reference" came along "with".

I have informed the referees of the subject of the letters.

You can also "inform about" the letters, but "inform on the subject of" sounds awkward, the proposition "on" clashes. You could "speak on the subject of", however, if addressing an audience.

Perhaps try to avoid "apropos" and "vis-a-vis". Both examples in the comments are correct use, but they are both somewhat archaic or extra-formal, and "vis-a-vis" might be confused to imply that you talked to someone in-person or face-to-face if not used correctly.


Posted 2019-10-06T12:27:34.313

Reputation: 1 594

diction is spoken language, not written language. And not all the ones you say are incorrect are incorrect in fact.... – Lambie – 2019-11-27T17:12:11.167

@Lambie - 'Diction' in this sense means something like 'the process of word or phrase selection', and does not refer exclusively to spoken language. Using the wrong prepositions with "respect" above is certainly incorrect diction. Consult a dictionary or English textbook to convince yourself of this, if you do not believe me. (eg.

– BadZen – 2019-11-27T17:18:54.290

It may be in the dictionary, but personally I avoid words that are commonly used otherwise in English language learning. People think of speech not writing when they hear "correct diction". – Lambie – 2019-11-27T17:31:54.853

It's not merely "in the dictionary". It's in common use, completely apt to topic, and my denotation was appropriately signaled (since we're obviously not speaking here). Let's try to stay on the topic of the question and not diverge into "comments conversations", perhaps. – BadZen – 2019-11-27T17:48:35.280

I believe my comment was on topic and I also believe that a learner or teacher who sees the word diction will think mostly of spoken language. I have a right to my opinion, whether it pleases you or not. And with respect of in correct English. – Lambie – 2019-11-27T18:07:10.497

I did not say it was always wrong, in every sentence. "In respect of" does occur, but it has very low frequency, is different in meaning, and does not work in the sentence in the question. To put a point on it " respect of the letters": something about the letters required or prompted me to inform the referees (about what?)" ..."with repsect to the letters": the letters are the subject of the information I gave to the referees. The latter is the phrase OP wants. See

– BadZen – 2019-11-27T18:22:03.847

It is mostly used in British English. in respect of means with respect to. See the Collins Dictionary. – Lambie – 2019-11-27T18:31:12.027