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What is the difference between to correspond with and to correspond to?

In the above case correspond refers to the verb match. I also have a sentence I want to write - Number 2 corresponds with/to an active cell with white color, while number 3 corresponds with/to an active cell with black color.

If they can be used interchangeably, how it affects the meaning?

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  • Two centuries ago one example usually corresponded with another, but today things almost always correspond to other things. But there's been no change in the meaning. Commented Aug 23, 2023 at 21:00
  • "In the above case correspond refers to the verb match." Which above case? I don't see any example text before that sentence and certainly nothing containing the verb match. Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 3:39

2 Answers 2

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In the above case correspond refers to the verb match. I also have a sentence I want to write - Number 2 corresponds with/to an active cell with white color, while number 3 corresponds with/to an active cell with black color.

"Correspond to" is preferred in this context over "correspond with." I would not say that "correspond with" is absolutely incorrect in this context, but "correspond to" is the more commonly used phrase when assigning a label or description to something or saying that two or more things go together.

The word "correspond" has another meaning which is to communicate in writing with someone. The phrase "correspond with" is more often used when that meaning of the word "correspond" is intended. "Correspond with" will often refer to a series of communications in writing back and forth with someone, although it can also refer to a single communication in writing from the person speaking.

"Correspond to" can be used in either a labeling of something, or to express that one is sending a single written communication to someone sense.

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  • Thank you! I believe the mentioning of labeling things is a good point! Now it looks less confusing.
    – Stone Paul
    Commented Aug 24, 2023 at 19:33
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When I think about the two uses, to gives me a sense of direction that with lacks. So correspond to suggests that the thing doing the corresponding is doing it without any active participation or intent on the part of what it is corresponding to.

So Number 2 corresponds to an active cell. suggests the active cell was not created or intended with Number 2 in mind and all of the correspondence is on the part of Number 2.

Number 2 corresponds with an active cell. says that Number 2 and an active cell correspond, but not that there is a particular direction.

When using correspond to mean "communicate in writing". That implies it's bidirectional. If you write a letter to someone and they never write back, I would not consider that corresponding. So I would normally only use correspond with when talking about communication.

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