Speak to or speak with?

Quick post today which answers one of your questions: Which is correct – “speak to” or “speak with”? 

There’s an easy answer to this: both are correct and mean the same thing! “Speak to” may imply that the communication is one-way or unilateral (The teacher is speaking to the students and the students are listening), while “speak with” may refer to a two-way conversation (a dialogue).

In practice, though, native speakers use “to” and “with” for both situations (one-way or two-way communication) interchangeably. In British English “speak with” is quite formal: “May I speak with you for a moment?” (when your teacher or boss calls you and you know you’re in trouble) 🙂

The same story for “talk to” and “talk with”: there’s no difference in meaning and use, both of them mean that you are having a conversation with someone.

One thing: Speak is more formal than talk. Check this link for more examples on speak vs. talk.

Bonus! Here are 2 expressions with speak and talk for you to learn:

speak your mind = to say exactly what you think, in a very direct way

He’s never afraid to speak his mind, he doesn’t care about what people say.

look who’s talking (informal) = used to tell somebody that they should not criticize somebody else for something because they do the same things, too.

“You spend too much money on clothes!” “Look who’s talking!”

I hope you enjoyed this, don’t forget to write to me if you have questions or for anything else. Bye!

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