It was nice to meet you or it was nice meeting you?

compiler

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I met a friend this afternoon and want to write a thank you message. Should I write it was nice to meet you this afternoon or it was nice meeting you this afternoon?
 

Raymott

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Either would do. I'd write 'seeing you' rather than 'meeting you'. Meeting tends to refer to a first encounter.
 

compiler

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Can you explain why meeting is better than to meet? Is it because it is the past tense? If it is not the past tense, we usually say it is nice to meet you, right?
 

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No, it has nothing to do with tenses. "Meeting" sounds less formal than "to meet", to me. I didn't say 'meeting' was necessarily better.
 

compiler

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But, people usually say it is nice to meet you, especially in the first time meeting. So, it seems tense matters. It is nice to meet you while it was nice meeting you.
 
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Raymott

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My preference for "It was nice meeting you" over "It was nice to meet you" has nothing to do with tenses, because they are both in the past tense.
 

MikeNewYork

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At a first encounter, I think "It is nice to meet you" is more common than "It is nice meeting you". At the end of that encounter, I think "It was nice meeting you" and "It was nice to meet you" are pretty much the same.
 

compiler

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I asked several American people to say it was nice meeting you or it was nice to meet you. They all agree it should be it was nice meeting you but it is nice to meet you.
 

compiler

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My preference for "It was nice meeting you" over "It was nice to meet you" has nothing to do with tenses, because they are both in the past tense.
Yes, they are both in the past tense. But, we should say it was nice meeting you and it is nice to meet you. Whether we should say meeting or to meet depends on it was or it is.
 
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Raymott

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Yes, they are both in the past tense. But, we should say it was nice meeting you and it is nice to meet you. Whether we should say meeting or to meet depends on it was or it is.
Well, you'd know best, compiler.
 
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