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  1. etc128's Avatar
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    #1

    Speak to or speak with

    May I know the correct English should be "speak to" or "speak with"?

    Which of these are correct, "May I speak to James?" or "May I speak with James?", "James is speaking to Mary." or "James is speaking with Mary."

    Thank you.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Speak to or speak with

    They are all correct and acceptable. It doesn't make any difference which one you use.

    Edit: Upon reflection, I guess 'with' may be slightly more formal.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Speak to or speak with

    I was surprised to discover that there is not such a difference between BrE and AmE as I had expected.

  4. Fredenglish's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Speak to or speak with

    I'm not a teacher, but it should serve these purposes: 1. Emphasis (as to WHOM you spoke to) 2. Politer way 3. Formal way

    Examples:

    "Can I speak with you for a minute?"
    "I need to speak to John about the matter."

    Therefore:

    "May I speak to James?"
    "James is speaking with Mary."

    I hope this helped

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    #5

    Re: Speak to or speak with

    In my opinion, "speak with" is more polite, because it suggests two-way conversation. "speak to" sounds a little more one way. But in practice, they're both commonly used and the latter is rarely considered less appropriate.
    Translator, editor and TESOL certificate holder, but not a teacher. Native speaker of American English (West Coast)

  5. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Speak to or speak with

    I can honestly say that I don't think I ever use "speak/talk with".

    I spoke to my mum yesterday.
    Did you talk to John last week?
    Can I speak to James please?
    Who were you talking to when I saw you outside the office?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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