Grammar Showdown: Irregardless vs Regardless

30 November 2023 / Team Fun English Course

Irregardless vs regardless is a grammar showdown that has puzzled writers and speakers alike. One word is traditionally accepted, while the other often raises eyebrows. 

This guide aims to dissect the history, meanings, and appropriate usages of these terms so that you can speak and write with confidence.

“Regardless” Explained

usage of regardless

The term “regardless” has a straightforward definition: it means “without regard or consideration for.” 

Check out these examples:

  • Regardless of the weather, the event will go on as planned.
  • She was determined to finish the project on time, regardless of the obstacles.

The usage of regardless is generally approved for both casual and formal settings. Additionally, it’s the go-to phrase for academic writing, business communications, or any situation where clarity is important.

What is “Irregardless”?

Meaning of irregardless

The meaning of irregardless is generally intended to be the same as regardless, even though it’s often considered a non-standard or controversial variant. 

Additionally, it’s a word people use to indicate that something will happen or is true despite any other factors. However, the term is linguistically redundant due to the negative prefix “ir-” and is generally advised against in formal and academic settings.

  • Despite your opinion, I’m proceeding with my plans, irregardless.
  • He’s participating in the game, irregardless of his injury.

The debates about the word often focus on its appropriateness in formal and professional contexts. Language experts generally recommend avoiding irregardless in scholarly or business communication, as it’s commonly seen as incorrect or less polished.

Comparison: “Irregardless” vs “Regardless”

the difference between irregardless and regardless

The difference between irregardless and regardless often sparks a lively debate among language enthusiasts. At their core, both words aim to convey the same idea: doing something “without regard to” some condition or fact. However, there are key differences that set them apart.

When it comes to the terms irregardless and regardless, you might be surprised to find out they are more alike than they are different. Both are commonly used to introduce a contrasting idea or to underscore a particular point. 

For example, you could say, “Regardless of the budget, we’re going to the concert,” and it would mean the same as, “Irregardless of the budget, we’re going to the concert.”

However, there are key differences that set them apart. “Regardless” is universally accepted in both spoken and written English. It’s a safe choice whether you’re at a business meeting or writing an academic paper. Conversely, “irregardless” is often frowned upon in formal settings.

There are also some common misconceptions about these terms. Some people erroneously believe that “irregardless” adds extra emphasis compared to “regardless,” which isn’t the case. 

Furthermore, while “irregardless” may have its critics, it’s not an entirely made-up word. You can find it in dictionaries, albeit usually with a note explaining its controversial nature.

When to Use Regardless and Irregardless

When to Use Regardless

Regardless is the go-to word for most formal and academic settings. Its universal acceptance makes it a safe and effective choice for conveying a point without regard for any specific conditions or circumstances.

Though contentious, irregardless has its place, mostly in informal situations and colloquial expressions. Its usage, while often debated, is becoming more common in casual speech.

In summary, the key point is to understand the setting you’re in. When in doubt, especially in formal or academic situations, it’s best to stick with regardless.

Understanding the nuances between irregardless and regardless is more than just a grammar quibble; it’s about effective and appropriate communication. While “regardless” is the widely accepted term in formal and academic contexts, irregardless has found a home in casual conversations.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into the intricacies of the English language, consider joining our Fun English Course. We offer comprehensive programs for all age groups, including elementary-level courses, IELTS and TOEFL preparation, and conversation classes

Learn the ropes of language mastery with us, and clear up any confusion you may have about phrases like irregardless vs regardless.

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