With sentences that are similar to each other, it can be hard to tell which one is correct and which one is incorrect. Is “Referred to as” always the correct phrase to use? Or can you use “Referred as” instead? This article will clarify how these phrases are used.
The correct expression to use is “Referred to as”. “Referred as” is a grammatically incorrect expression that doesn’t make sense, and should be avoided. “Refer” is a word that is not used in conjunction with the word “as”, with “Referred to as” as the exception.
The truth is that “Refer” is a word that is normally used on its own, alone, and it just means to direct someone to something. However, when “to” is added afterwards, the meaning of the phrase changes.
“Refer to” means “mentioned in this way”, so the expression “Referred to as” is used to talk about the ways in which objects are described.
No, it’s not. “Referred as” doesn’t make grammatical sense, and does not properly convey the way that an object is described, unlike “Referred to as”.
In fact, information provided by the Google Ngram Viewer properly showcases this fact. Analyzing this chart, we can learn that over the years, the use of “referred to as” has grown a lot.
The data proves that “referred to as” has been in use since at least the year 1900, and since then has only grown in popularity over the years.
The phrase hit its peak popularity in the years 2005 through 2009, though since then uses of “referred to as” have gone down somewhat.
However, the information also proves that “Referred as” is practically not used in comparison. It has remained in literature in use since 1900 as well, but in a deeply miniscule proportion.
In fact, it’s not a huge assumption to say that this minimal use of “Referred as” happened because the phrase is grammatically incorrect, and therefore not as popular as “Referred to as”.
“Referred to as” is a phrase used to describe the name that an object has. When you say “Referred to as X”, you’re saying that people refer to this object as X, and that X is its name.
“Referred to as” is a very valuable expression when it comes to describing something, because it’s a good and communicative way of stating something’s name.
Here are some examples of the way that “Referred to as” can be used in a variety of sentences:
- The Hurricane was referred to as Hurricane Katrina, and it was devastating.
- In game theory, this problem is referred to as Hempel’s Raven, or the raven paradox.
- In those days, I was referred to as “The Scorer” because I scored so many points.
- The movie was referred to as “Project Blue Moon” while it was in production.
- Our house was actually referred to as “The Haunted Manor” at the time.
- Their department was internally referred to as “Heaven” because of how nice it was.
- This conflict would years later be referred to as the One Year War.
- The computer was referred to as “Big Betsy”, and it took care of everything.
- His car was affectionately referred to as “Junk”, because of how beaten up it was.
- Computationally, this programming is referred to as “Bad code”.
“Referred to” is used to talk about mentioning something, and “Referred to as” is used to talk about the way that something is called when mentioning it.
“Referred to” simply means that you’re alluding to something, while “Referred to as” is specifically about the name that you give to the thing that you’re alluding to. Both are grammatically valid.
Here are some examples that showcase the different uses of “Referred to as” and “Referred to”:
- This location was referred to as “The ball pit”, because all the baseballs fell in it.
- In his speech, the Prime Minister referred to an investigation done by the police.
- The website was colloquially referred to as “The Hub”, because you could do anything in it.
- I referred to my resume’s credentials in the interview.
- He was referred to as “The Problem Solver” by the mayor’s department.
- She referred to the lease agreement and what had been outlined in it.
- They referred to our team as “The Losers”, which we laughed about.
- We referred to the original document, and pointed out the inconsistency.
- I would refer to that workplace as “Home” because of how much time I spent there.
- Considering our situation, she referred us to an expert.
“Called” is used to reference the name of a thing. “Referred to as” can be a name, but more often than not it is a title or a nickname rather than the thing’s actual name. It’s the difference between a given title and a name.
“Referred to as” implies that there is a “true” name beyond the name by which people are referring to the object, while “Called” simply implies that that is the object’s true name.
Here’s some examples if you’re confused by the distinction:
- She’s called Mary and she comes every day.
- This case file is referred to as “The Problem Hole” by the rookies.
- It’s called The Museum of Natural History and it’s a great place to go.
- City Hall is referred to as “The Most Boring Place on Earth” by the police force.
- The project is called “Eternia” and it involves artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- He’s referred to as “The Bad Boss” because, of the two, he’s much more rude and mean.
- It’s called “The Batman” and it’s the brand new movie in the franchise.
- It’s usually referred to as “AIM” because the full name is too long for casual conversation.
- They’re called “Jarvis Repairs” and they’ve done a lot of good work for me.
- I was referred to as “The Rookie” back in my day, as well.
- Known as
- Christened as
- Labeled as
- Termed as
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.