Some people are rich in money, while others have a different kind of richness. When you refer to what people possess, do you say “Rich In” or “Rich With”?
Since often similar forms have different meanings, let’s look at both to discover which is correct and how to use them.
Actually, both “Rich In” and “Rich With” are correct. They’re usually interchangeable, and have the same meaning. Both expressions are used to indicate the things someone or something has that is valuable. The idea behind it isn’t to bring up traditional riches, like money, but other valuables.
In other words, “Rich In” and “Rich With” are meant to discuss riches that are priceless, or even intangible. To have a better idea, take a look at the examples below:
- Central America is rich in natural resources.
- Central America is rich with natural resources.
- I have no money, but I’m rich with family and friends.
- I have no money, but I’m rich in family and friends.
Both sets of sentences have the same wording, except for the expressions “Rich In” and “Rich With”. As you can probably see, interchanging the expressions doesn’t affect the meaning of the sentence – you still get the same message, despite the one we choose to use.
“Rich In” relates to having valuable resources, characteristics, traditions and history. Often, it’s used to point out the kind of riches money can’t buy (things that are invaluable or priceless).
Let’s see some examples of “Rich In” being used in a sentence:
- Richard was rich in health, but certainly not in money.
- Russia is rich in oil and natural gas, which are invaluable resources.
- Emmanuel is rich in connections, he knows people all over town.
- The forest was rich in plants and animals alike, but deforestation changed it completely.
- Frank’s life was rich in love, and that was his legacy.
The concept of “riches” frequently leads to the idea that people are jealous of it. In other words, it’s something so desirable that many people would want to have it.
The things listed as what a person (or country, or company, or area, etc.) is “Rich In” are often hard to get and to keep, and can generate this feeling of making people jealous of it (like they would of traditional riches).
“Rich With” agrees in meaning with “Rich In”. It’s about having a lot of something, or being abundant in something. A person (or place, for example) can have many things and be considered “Rich With” it.
Here are some examples of “Rich With” in a sentence:
- Cynthia was rich with happiness and bliss, despite the hardships she faced.
- Gerald was rich with friends, and had an enviable social life.
- Africa is rich with wildlife, like no other place on earth.
- The cave was rich with minerals.
- Sam is rich with knowledge of biology.
“Rich With” and “ Rich In” both indicate the invaluable possessions someone (or something) has. Characteristics, resources, love and loved ones are good examples of what might be considered to make someone “Rich In” or “Rich With”.
You may be asking yourself which form should you choose to use more often. The answer is quite simple: go for the one that sounds more idiomatic, that compliments the sentence you wish to say better.
When talking about riches, do people use more “Rich With” or “Rich In”? The graph from Google Ngram Viewer below will show us the answer.
Does that indicate a trend? It’s hard to tell, and we’d have to keep monitoring to find out.
It’s not common to find expressions that share the exact same meaning and use. “Rich In” and “Rich With” do, and are indeed interchangeable. If you wish to describe riches that aren’t money, have a lot of value and are hard to find, any of the two expressions will work.
Martin is the founder of Grammarhow.com. With top grades in English and teaching experience at university level, he is on a mission to share all of his knowledge about the English language. Having written thousands of articles, he is an expert at explaining difficult topics in a simple language.
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