I often have confusion between' with' and 'having' Here are the following sentences:

  1. There are different people having different opinions.

  2. There are different people with different opinions.

  3. Having access to good ideas doesn’t mean that people will “walk naked into the land of uncertainty.” This takes courage.

  4. With the access to good ideas doesn’t mean that people will “walk naked into the land of uncertainty.” This takes courage.

Which one is correct, and why?

There may be some rules about the use of 'with' and 'having' which differs them from each other could you please mention it?


2 Answers 2


The meanings are similar in the first of these examples but the grammar is different.

"Having" is the present participle of the verb "have", so "having different opinions" is a participle clause.

"With" is a preposition, so "with different opinions" is a prepositional phrase.

Both participle clauses and prepositional phrases can function as adverbials, and in your examples the meaning is similar. But not every use of "with" can be replaced by "having"

"I'm going shopping with my friend" is ok. "I'm going shopping having my friend" is not. We would not say "I'm having my friend"

In the second example the clause "Having access to good ideas" is functioning as a noun. In other words this is a gerund.

A prepositional phrase doesn't function as a noun. Therefore the the example "With access...." is not grammatically correct. It reads like a "garden path" sentence. Your brain begins by parsing "With access to good ideas" as an adverbial, and then starts waiting for a subject, which never comes.

So a clause starting "having" can be either a gerund or a participle phrase. A phrase starting "with" can only be a prepositional phrase.

  • Thanks a lot for your answer.could you please give me a link to reach English language Learner chat room so that I could chat there. I'm using mobile.Can I chat there?
    – yubraj
    Aug 21, 2016 at 14:33

'Have' is an auxuliary verb and it's more about possessions. As @jamesK mentioned in his answer, a clause starting with gerund can be either gerund or participle. On the other hand, 'with' is a preposition and it can create prepositional phrase.

Your sentences starting with With and have may imply different meanings :

With access to good idies. . . . Is prepositional phrase and it means 'through the access to good idies.

Having the access to good idies . . . Is a gerund phrase and 'have' works here as possession just like You have a access to good Idies, but it's in gerund form.

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