[Deactivated user]
"Speak with..." and "speak to ...". What's the difference? I know that both "with" and "to" can be used after the verb "speak". Nevertheless, I find it difficult to explain to my students in what particular cases we say "speak to somebody" and "speak with somebody". I'd be grateful if you could help me.
Jun 7, 2010 10:34 AM
Answers · 5
The differences between " speak to" and "speak with" In the past, we used "speak to" when we talked with only one person. -e.g. She is speaking to John right now. [ John - one person ] And Mostly, it is one way communication : one speaker and one listener] we used " speak with " when we talked with many persons [ more than one person ] e.g. They did not want to speak with reporters. [ reporters -more than one person ] And Mostly, it is two way communication I think you can notice the preposition from the examples in many books. You will understand more about the differences between " to " and " with " ,as I have explained to you above. At present, " speak to" and "speak with" are almost the same. we can use them and we don't see their meaning are different in any situation. e.g. I spoke to my boss for 2 hours. I spoke with my boss for 2 hours. The meaning above is the same when we use. And most people understand what happened in that situation.
June 8, 2010
'Speak to' is not only used when talking to 'one' person as snownoir said: 'The actress refused to speak to the waiting journalists.' (speak to many people) 'Do you still speak to your old friends?' 'I'd like to speak to you about the course. (speak to one person). = talking to someone or to a group of people about a particular topic. (a one-way conversation) Therefore, when you are speaking to somebody, you may be the only person speaking. 'I'd like to speak with you about the course': We will be both engaged in conversation and we will talk with each other.
June 7, 2010
I believe that most native English speakers would not be able to clearly state the difference between "speak with or speak to". I believe that "speak to" indicates a single speaker (i.e. one speaker and one listener) and "speak with" indicates two speakers (i.e. speakers and listeners taking turns speaking and listening). The following is an excerpt from "Practical English Usage", written by Michael Swan and pulished by Oxford University Press (ISBN 0 19 442146 5) Speak and Talk 1 little difference There is not very much difference between speak and talk. In certain situations one or the other is preferred (though they are usually both possible). 2 formality Talk is the more usual word to refer to conversational exchanges and informal communication. When she walked into the room everybody stopped talking. Could I talk to you about the football match for a few minutes? Speak is often used for one-way communication and for exchanges in more serious or formal situations. I'll have to speak to that boy - he's getting very lazy. They had a terrible row last week, and now they're not speaking to one another. After she had finished reading the letter, nobody spoke. 3 lectures etc Talk is often used for the act of giving an informal lecture (a talk); speak is preferred for more formal lectures, sermons etc. This is Mr Patrick Allen, who's going to talk to us about flower arrangements. Professor Bowen is going to speak to us on recent developments in his research. The Pope spoke to the crowd for seventy minutes about world peace. 4 languages Speak is the usual word to refer to knowledge and use of languages, and to the physical ability to speak. She speaks three languages fluently. We spoke French so that the children wouldn't understand. His throat operation has left him unable to speak. 5 other cases One usually asks to speak to somebody on the phone (US also speak with).
June 7, 2010
speak with someone about someone or something i'll speak with my father about my sister, she needs more pocket money. he spoke with his boss about the salary. we also say she spoke with much confidence. she speaks with dignity about her country. speak to someone: i speak to her with much respect. speak to something: who can speak to this idea ? i hope this help.
June 7, 2010
Ms.Learner....If you can see.....I said how to use preposition " in the past " { when people used in the past and most of old English books mentioned ,maybe 50 years ago} and " at present or so far" { now " to " and " both" are not different} and I said " mostly" it means " not every case"
June 8, 2010
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!