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Kseniia
Meeting someone Hi! Can someone please help me out? I have a stupid question but I can't find an absolutely clear answer to it anywhere. Do you use "meet" when you're not talking about seeing a person for the first time? For example, can I say, "I met my brother in the shopping mall"? What I want to say is that I happened to bump into my brother in the shopping mall but of course I first met him many years ago so it wasn't like we were introduced to each other at that moment. Does "meet" in this situation sound incorrect in English? If yes, how would you normally phrase it? And does that mean that "OK, I'll meet you there" said to your friend is also incorrect?
Oct 3, 2018 12:15 PM
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Answers · 7
If you accidentally came across a friend in a public place, you could simply say, "I saw them". For example, "I saw my friend in the lobby of our apartment and she told me she was coming to the party". There are also some phrasal verbs that are very commonly used to express the same idea. The expression "bumped into" is often used for long-time friends that you haven't seen for quite some time. For example, people say, "You will never guess who I bumped into. I haven't seen Jack for years". The expression "ran into" is commonly used for people you might see in your daily routine. For example, people often say, "I ran into my neighbour again at the grocery store. It seems we both do our shopping on Saturday". The expression "came across" seems to be used for people we don't know as well. For example, people might say, "I came across that salesman who used to work at the car dealers on North Street. He is working at another place now". Hope this is some help to you.
October 3, 2018
Hi Kseniis, The only stupid question is the one unasked. ;-) What we say is "I ran into my brother at the shopping mall." "Ran into" means to bump into someone that you are familiar with, unexpectedly. I "ran into" my boss at the movies. I hope this helps. Stephen
October 3, 2018
Hey. The verb "to meet" may assume many different meanings, depending on the context of the phrase. You can say that you met your brother in the mall, meaning you encountered your brother there, and not that you saw and "cognized" him for the first time.
October 3, 2018
"Met" would indicate a prior arrangement... I see, so you don't use "meet" if you just run into someone but it's OK to use it if it's not something that happened by chance. Many thanks for the explanation Trudi, it's much clearer for me now!
October 3, 2018
Generally in British English, “met” would indicate a prior arrangement. “I met my brother at the mall” (you had both agreed to be there at a set time). So you can absolutely say, “I will meet you at the mall.”
October 3, 2018
Kseniia
Language Skills
English, Gaelic (Irish), Russian
Learning Language
English, Gaelic (Irish)