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16 July 2010

"Result With" or "Result In"?

Right or Wrong?- the word WITH vs the word IN when writing "reduced errors by 60% resulting IN saving over $70M" Does anyone know if WITH is gramatically wrong? Please provide evidence.
Great question, and wise to insist on evidence. I have had many similar discussions. It took years to get my daughter to say something happened "by accident" instead of "on accident." The answer is that this resulted in a non-productively spent afternoon.

The issue does not concern grammar, so with is not wrong grammatically. Result is intransitive -- it takes no object, but it can be followed by a prepositional phrase. The issue concerns usage; with is incorrect diction.

In general, you can find the evidence in many dictionaries (see that identify or give examples of appropriate usage.

Result speaks of a cause-and-effect relationship. With implies togetherness, colocation (can somebody think of a better word? Con-resultantcy?) in the cause-and-effect chain. Resulting with, therefore, implies that the action and the result occur together -- a logical impossibility.

In simply implies place or condition. Result speaks of an action that has beginning and ending conditions. The thing affected, therefore starts in one condition and the action causes something to be in a new condition.

An alternate construction deals with the case where the result is the subject of the sentence. In this case, the end condition results, and you could stop there. However, you might wish to add more detail. For example, a 60% reduction of errors resulted, with the corporation saving over $70 M.

One more case: reduced errors by 60%, [note the comma missing from your example] resulting in saving over $70M. This leaves saving isolated in a sensory deprivation chamber of ambiguity. Who saved $70M? The employee? (I'd like to have HER salary! On second thought, I'd like to have ANY salary.)

Better: resulting in the project saving over $70M.

Better-er: resulting in over $70M savings.

Best: Leave out resulting -- reduced errors by 60%, saving the project over $70M.

More bester-est: Replace the negative saving with positive profits -- reduced errors by 60%, increasing profits over $70M.


  1. Well, who would want to say "result with"? I (as a non-native English speaker) have HUGE problems with English prepositions, but not this one - in which language is it like this?

  2. Anyway the only evidence is the reference to the dictionary - your explanation is very logical, but the (natural) languages are not :) So I believe that to any "rule" of the type you are describing, you will find at least one case where the natural language surprises you.

  3. The evidence includes the facts cited to support the logic. I'm not going to create a mess by loading the article with dozens of references.

    Perhaps people who ignore the logic have created some exception to the rule, but that would be off-topic relative to the original question, wouldn't it?