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Thread: Phrasal verb

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    Default Phrasal verb

    Can you help me? I'm working in a call center and I'm quite confused when I hear each agent talking on the phone.
    I need info on the ff:
    speak to, speak with, talk to, talk with..
    which is right? and can you tell me when to use which? thanks. I want everyone of us on the floor to learn. Even supervisors get confused.

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    Default Re: Phrasal verb

    Speak and talk have similar meanings. They suggest that someone is using his voice, or that two or more people are having a discussion.

We can say:

    speak to somebody 

    talk to somebody 

    speak to somebody about something

    talk to somebody about something

    Examples:
    How old were you when you learned to speak?


    What are you talking about?

    
Who were you speaking to on the phone?

    Who were you talking to on the phone? 

    
I was speaking to Mark about cricket.

    But we say:
    speak a language NOT talk a language

    talk nonsense NOT speak nonsense.

    Speak to and talk to are used more often than speak with and talk with.

    He speaks four languages.

    Stop talking nonsense!

    I was talking to Tom yesterday.

    'speak to' has a sense of a more superficial exchange of words, while 'talk to' suggests some kind of in depth discussion to obtain information. So:
    I spoke to this man at the bus stop today and he was telling me his mother had the same operation as you.
    compare:
    I need to talk to my bank manager about taking out a loan.
    compare:
    "I was talking to this man at the bus stop today. He's had such an interesting life. He was telling me all about his time in India when it was still part of the Empire, and.."

    In your call centre:
    Somebody rings and you can see from what they are saying that you need to put them through to a technical expert. You might say "You need to speak to one of our technicians. I'll put you through." Whether the technician spends some time on the phone talking with the person to get their computer up and running again is up to the technician. Otherwise, "I spoke to a technician but he couldn't help because my guarantee had expired."

    Perhaps you could give some situations that arise in your call centre and people can suggest what they would say, and why.
    Last edited by David L.; 02-Apr-2008 at 18:41.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Phrasal verb

    Quote Originally Posted by paochai01 View Post
    Can you help me? I'm working in a call center and I'm quite confused when I hear each agent talking on the phone.
    I need info on the ff:
    speak to, speak with, talk to, talk with..
    which is right? and can you tell me when to use which? thanks. I want everyone of us on the floor to learn. Even supervisors get confused.
    These structures are usually interchangeable: he spoke to (with) me for only a few minutes. There may be sometimes semantic distinctions: Speak to sounds a bit more one-sided than speak with, which may imply more action and reaction.

    "I spoke to him about my plans".
    "I spoke with him about the meaning of life".

    "I must speak to him (about what he's done).
    I must speak with him about our holidays.
    so you "speak to" when you want to tell someone off.

    This is it about the theory, in practice however, do not worry too much about these combinations as they are interchangeable.

    The same referes to "talk" but "speak" is slightly more formal.
    And last but not least: we speak English and I am not sure if we can talk English, perhaps only in informal register.
    This is my opinion, feel free do disagree.

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    Default Re: Phrasal verb

    Perfect! Thanks David and Banderas! =)
    Whoa, now I'm learning.
    Your every info will be really helpful to me and my team.
    So none of the four phrasal verbs is grammatically wrong or somewhat nonstandard?

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    Default Re: Phrasal verb

    Quote Originally Posted by paochai01 View Post
    Perfect! Thanks David and Banderas! =)
    Whoa, now I'm learning.
    Your every info will be really helpful to me and my team.
    So none of the four phrasal verbs is grammatically wrong or somewhat
    all of them are ok (only context is important) but notice what David said:

    "But we say:
    speak a language NOT talk a language

    talk nonsense NOT speak nonsense.

    Speak to and talk to are used more often than speak with and talk with."

    nonstandard?
    d

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