The V with construction is the use of the word with following certain verbs, as in the following examples from Spartz (2008):
1) Do you want to come with?
2) They are leaving on a great adventure; you should go with.
3) It is a good idea to take a gun with.
Who says this?
This construction is found in the Upper Midwest, particularly in Minnesota and Wisconsin (Spartz 2008). The phrase come with seems to be more widespread than its counterparts with the verbs go, take, or bring.
The following map is based recent surveys conducted by the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, and shows the average acceptability of the come with construction, on a scale of 1-5 (1 being unacceptable, 5 being fully acceptable). This map shows that while many come with sentences are fairly widely accepted, they are judged especially acceptable in the Upper Midwest.
Map created by Jim Wood on Oct. 11th, 2019
With as a particle
This construction has been analyzed as having a silent pronoun after the word with, so that sentence (1), above, is really interpreted as Do you want to come with us?
However, Spartz (2008) argues that in this construction with is actually a particle that is selected by the verb. English has many verbs that come with particles, such as get up, put on, and look for, and Spartz (2008) argues that V with expressions belong in this category. For example, in English, it is possible to insert an adverb between a verb and a preposition, while it is not possible to insert an adverb between a verb and its particle, which explains the contrast between (4a), which is acceptable to native speakers, and (4b), which is not acceptable to native speakers:
4) a. The man walked carefully up the hill.
b. *The man got carefully up this morning.
Like in (4b), an adverb cannot be inserted between the verb and with in V with constructions, which is evidence that with is a particle in these constructions. For example, although (5a) is acceptable, it becomes unacceptable when the adverb carefully is inserted between the verb and with as in (5b):
5) a. You should take with a gun.
b. *You should take carefully with a gun.
Only certain verbs
This use of with is most frequently seen with the verb come, as well as with go. Spartz (2008) also discusses bring with and take with, and mentions ride with and carry with. Wilson Gray on the American Dialect Society Listserv (in this thread) also observes that some speakers can use with with be, as in (6):
6) A friend was with, and she drove me home.
Many people have identified similar constructions in other Germanic languages, including the Scandinavian languages, as the source of this phenomenon. This would explain its presence in places like Wisconsin and Minnesota, where many Norwegian, Swedish, and German speakers settled.
Page contributed by Aidan Kaplan on March 13, 2015.
Updates/revisions: August 7, 2015 (Tom McCoy); June 1, 2018 (Katie Martin)
Please cite this page as: Kaplan, Aidan. 2015. Come with. Yale Grammatical Diversity Project: English in North America. (Available online at http://ygdp.yale.edu/phenomena/come-with. Accessed on YYYY-MM-DD). Updated by Tom McCoy (2015) and Katie Martin (2018).