associate to, associate with

As an intransitive verb (i.e. one that does not take an object), associate with means to be involved with a group as a result of shared interests or goals.

  • The saying “birds of a feather flock together” means that like-minded people associate with one another.

As a transitive verb (i.e. one that takes an object), associate with means to establish a link between one thing and another.

  • I associate autumn with the smell of wood smoke and a rich panoply of colours.
  • It is no longer common for a hockey player to be associated with the same team for many years.

Associate to is non-standard English.

Copyright notice for Writing Tips Plus

© His Majesty the King in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Public Services and Procurement
A tool created and made available online by the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada

Search by related themes

Want to learn more about a theme discussed on this page? Click on a link below to see all the pages on the Language Portal of Canada that relate to the theme you selected. The search results will be displayed in Language Navigator.