So far I have always told you about words or phrases that sound alike but cannot be used interchangeably. Today, I am going to tell you about two phrases that can be used interchangeably – talk with and talk to.
What do talk with and talk to mean?
To talk with someone and to talk to someone, both mean the same thing – to converse with someone.
When to use talk with
Some believe that talk with should be used to interact with two or more people. The preposition with ensures that an exchange of dialogue is involved.
- Mrs. Gupta talks with her students after the class.
- Ram talks with his friends in the lunch break.
When to use talk to
Talk to should be used if the conversation is one-sided i.e. where only one person does the talking. So, when your teacher scolds you, she is talking to you, not with you as you have no say in it.
- Mrs. Gupta talked to the students who had come late.
- Ram talked to his friends about the ill-effects of smoking.
However, it is not necessary to make a distinction based on these rules. In spoken English, it is quite common to use these phrases interchangeably and it is acceptable to do so.