Can you guys help me out with the correct usage of "To consult"? Very often, I've seen people using "to consult with someone or something." If you could please give me some examples, that would be great. Please advise.
The only time you consult with someone is when you're seeking advice from a person (not a book or internet article), and you're looking for general information. Any time you say "consult with", you can use "consult" instead. Using "consult" sounds more direct, which is why it's used when you're looking for very specific information. Here're a few examples:
I should consult with my lawyer before I decide whether or not to buy this house
You're looking for general information, as you don't have a specific question about the house that will convince you to buy it or not.
After I consult my lawyer to see if I have a case, I will take you to court!
You are asking your lawyer "do I have a case if this happened", which means you're looking for specific information
I can't think of any words that begin with X, let me consult a dictionary
You're looking for general information, but it's not from a person. You would never consult with a dictionary because that sounds like you'd have a conversation with it.
Please consult with your doctor before you worry too much about that infection
The infection could be anything, so you're consulting with your doctor (general information). If you thought it might be malaria, you'd consult your doctor (specific information).
Consult your doctor if there are any immediate side affects
This sounds like you're asking for general information (I have side effects, what does that mean?) but saying consult instead of consult with sounds more direct and urgent. This is an order, "consult your doctor now!" instead of "consult with your doctor the next time you see him".
Hope that makes things clearer!