With your permission: using “with” in an opening clause

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timeA questioner asks:

With your permission

I saw the above example for “with” as a preposition. Please explain to me its use and grammar. I always get confused by the phrases starting with “with.” I have already checked number of dictionaries for various definitions of “with” but to little avail. What is its functional role here: adjective or adverb? I hope it is not a set expression without any logic. I will be grateful if you can elaborate on the usage of ” with” as a preposition in the phrase “with your permission”?

As you mention, “with” is a preposition. That means it can act to join two nouns to create an adjective phrase (coffee with cream) or with a verb to make an adverb phrase (act with haste). When used as an introductory phrase, it is adverbial. The introductory phrase describes how the action takes place.

“With your permission” is a polite way of asking for permission before taking an action. Similar introductory adverbial phrases include:

  • With all due respect (used before contradicting something a person of higher rank has stated)
  • With all deliberate speed (indicates the action will be done as quickly as possible)
  • With caution (indicates the action will be done carefully)
  • Basically, you can begin a sentence using “with” + noun to make an adverbial phrase to modify the main verb in the sentence.