I'm working on a text and need to tell the users about the differences of certain options. I'm struggling between with and within and don't know which is the correct one for:

  1. With this option you will add only your company name but won't have...
  2. Within this option you will add only your company name but won't have...

Which one is correct?

Edit: My native language is German and I've got the habit to think the sentence first in German and translate it then to English. In German you would be able to use "Mit dieser Option" or "In dieser Option" which are by meaning the same as Mit=With and In(close to)= Within. I checked some dictionaries and googled it as well, but couldn't find anything which would give me an idea of the correct answer for this context.

  • 1
    Have you looked up with and within in a dictionary? If so, please quote their definitions, and what you think the right answer is (and why). That will help us answer your question more specifically, and will also demonstrate that this question isn't a 'dictionary lookup' question, which is off-topic on ELL.
    – Matt
    Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 2:13
  • 3
    Within is "in" in the sense "inside of" = "innerhalb von", "binnen" Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 2:41
  • @ StoneyB Thanks, I will go for "with" than. :) Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 2:46
  • 2
    @Teo "In" is OK, but I prefer "with". Allow me, by the way, to recommend Linguee, a multilingual dictionary supported with a large database of 'official' translations. It's heavy on bureaucratic uses, but valuable. Commented Feb 23, 2014 at 3:30

1 Answer 1


The preposition within has nothing to do with the ordinary sense of the preposition with = “accompanying, alongside, by means of, etc.”. Within means “inside” in spatial, temporal and figurative senses.

The hoard was discovered deep within the mound.
You must respond to this communication within thirty days.
They are within their rights in refusing to be interviewed.

Consequently, within is not a valid translation of German in in this context. However, English does support both German uses: you may use either with for mit or in for in.

With this option ...
In this option ...

  • HISTORICAL NOTE, for those who wonder why the compound with + in has this meaning:

    Old English wið (cognate with German wider) originally meant “against, by, back from”, and the modern sense of with was expressed by mid (cognate with German mit). In the later part of the Old English period, however, northeast England was occupied and to some extent settled by speakers of Old Norse dialects, and over the next centuries (down into the Middle English period) many Old Norse words replaced the corresponding Old English words. For instance, they and are are of ON origin. Old Norse við, a cognate of with and wider, had approximately the sense of mid and mit, and under its influence, with shifted to the modern sense. However, the old sense lingered in established compounds such as withstand (stand against), withhold (hold from), withdraw (draw away from)—and within (against or by the inside).


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