Someone who has something.

Someone with something.

What is the difference between the two sentences?

Here is the question I got in GMAT:

In 1776 Adam Smith wrote that it is young people who have “the contempt of risk and the presumptuous hope of success” needed to found new businesses.

Can I replace "who have" with "with"?

It is so confusing... Would really appreciate, if someone could help!

  • 2
    He has a girlfriend is surely different than he is with a girlfriend! Not interchangeable always!
    – Maulik V
    Oct 18, 2017 at 5:52
  • So what’s the difference in my second example, The Adam Smith one ?
    – ninomi
    Oct 18, 2017 at 7:17
  • The idiomatic way to associate a person with contempt is to say: to have contempt [for someone or something]. It is a simple as that.
    – Lambie
    Aug 22, 2019 at 15:48
  • ...who have denotes ownership. With may not be so. The man who has a costly car... is different from The man with a costly car...
    – Ram Pillai
    Aug 29, 2020 at 14:32

1 Answer 1


In your example, the point of the sentence is that it is young people, rather than say old people, who have "the contempt ...". Two things happen if you replace 'who have' with 'with':

  • the grammatical structure of the sentence changes because you've taken out a verb, which you could fix somewhat by perhaps saying 'that are needed' rather than 'needed'.
  • the meaning of the sentence changes: saying 'young people with "the contempt..."' implies that some young people have this contempt, and maybe older people too, and we don't quite know whether it's their youth or this contempt that is important to found businesses. Saying instead that 'it is young people who have "the contempt..." needed' implies that, as I said above, young people have this contempt/trait (presumably in large numbers), whereas older people (generally speaking) do not.

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