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What is the difference between "talk" and "speak"?

For learning: English
Base language: English
Category: Language


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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    Talk and speak are synonyms or words that can be easily exchanged. However as Renato writes they mean slightly different things based on context but very slight and for the most part I would say don't worry too much about it.
    The biggest difference would be talk can be both a noun and a verb while speak is only a verb. The other difference is that speak changes form in the past while talk just gets an "ed".

    I think "talk" is a conversation with somebody and "speak" just the act of say words. You can for example talk speak alone, but talk alone I think it is a little bit more tough.

    In English you'd say

    "I speak Spanish"

    NOT "I talk spanish" - that is incorrect

    otherwise, in most case speak and talk are interchangeable

    I am speaking with my friend = I am talking with my friend

    Listen to the president speak = Listen to the president talk


    usually indicatees one-sided conversation. "I need to speak to you about your last essay." --The teacher is going to do most of the talking.

    "I need to talk with you about your last essay." There will be a conversation in which both people will probably have equal input into the conversation."

    Today we have a guest "speaker". After he speaks, we will talk about his message.

    The link here has some common phrases that use talk and speak. Check it out.

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