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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    Which one of these two are correct and more natural?:

    Just having the opportunity to talk to you you is already a big help.
    Just having the opportunity to talk with you you is already a big help.

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    #2

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    To is more common and natural in BrE.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 20-Sep-2020 at 17:56. Reason: Fixed typo
    Typoman - writer of rongs

  3. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    They're both correct and natural.

    I feel that there is (or rather could be) a very subtle difference in meaning.

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    #4

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    American colleagues have told me that 'talk to' suggests to them a rather one-sided situation; 'talk with' is a mutual activity.

    Like most speakers of BrE of my age, I don't feel this difference. I use only 'talk to'.
    Typoman - writer of rongs

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    #5

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    American colleagues have told me that 'talk to' suggests to them a rather one-sided situation; 'talk with' is a mutual activity.
    Talk to him can be one sided: That's the third time Ron's messed that up this week. I'd better talk to him about it. But it's usually synonymous with talk with. We'd definitely use "with" when the one-sided meaning is likely and it's not what we mean.
    I am not a teacher.

  6. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    As someone who grew up in a BrE environment, a BrE speaker's use of with instead of to feels to me purposeful. To me it seems that the speaker wants to present a sense of togetherness in the activity. If the idea is simply directed communication of information, then to is more appropriate. That is to say that there should be a special reason to use with instead of to.

    I think this explains why some people have expressed the idea of the 'one-sidedness' of to. If an exchange is one-sided, it must have a directedness, and would unlikely be thought of as a shared experience.

    I do also think that there is an element of convention in all this, too.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Piscean View Post
    American colleagues have told me that 'talk to' suggests to them a rather one-sided situation; 'talk with' is a mutual activity.

    Like most speakers of BrE of my age, I don't feel this difference. I use only 'talk to'.
    I don't hear that distinction either. (BrE speaker)

    It is one-sided if you're giving someone a talking-to, though.

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    #8

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    Depends on the situation/context. I agree with Jutfrank that using "with" 'the speaker wants to present a sense of togetherness' and a more personal tone.

  9. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    I'd be inclined to use "talk to" when "talk" is a verb and "talk with" when "talk" is a noun.

    I need to talk to you.
    I need to have a little talk with you.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  10. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Just having the opportunity to talk TO you / talk WITH you?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I'd be inclined to use "talk to" when "talk" is a verb and "talk with" when "talk" is a noun.

    I need to talk to you.
    I need to have a little talk with you.
    I see this as confirming to some extent what I said in post #6. I don't think the grammar is particularly important—the difference is in meaning.

    I'm not completely sure of what you imagine the latter sentence to mean but I think the use of have shows that the speaker is thinking of the exchange as an experience.

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