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Re: 'on this matter' versus 'in this matter'

Posted by R. Berg on December 08, 2003

In Reply to: 'on this matter' versus 'in this matter' posted by John on December 08, 2003

: My boss and I disagree over whether you seek someone's understanding 'in this matter' or 'on this matter'. He's made the point that were I to substitute 'matter' for 'issue', there's no question that it'd be correct to write 'on this issue'. He also pointed out that you always 'share your thoughts on this matter' as opposed to 'sharing your thoughts in this matter'. However, a quick office poll definitely favours 'seeking your understanding in this matter'. Can anyone shed some light on/in this matter?

I could vote for either candidate, depending on what "seeking your understanding" means. It wouldn't occur to me to say "I seek your understanding."

If it means "I want your opinion" or "I want to hear your interpretation," I'd say "I seek your understanding of this matter." If it means "I want your sympathy, given my circumstances" or "...given our shared circumstances," I'd say "I seek your understanding in this matter."