what preposition to use?

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vladz

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My students usually ask me for the right preposition to use with the verbs "talk" and "speak". Most of them are having trouble in using those verbs in telephone conversation. So, is it speak with or speak to, talk with or talk to?
 

MikeNewYork

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vladz said:
My students usually ask me for the right preposition to use with the verbs "talk" and "speak". Most of them are having trouble in using those verbs in telephone conversation. So, is it speak with or speak to, talk with or talk to?

All four are correct. Technically, with "speak/talk to", the focus is on a unidirectional action, and, with "speak/talk with", the focus is more bidirectional. However, we often use "speak/talk to" as a substitute for "speak/talk with". If a person is giving a lecture or presentation to an audience, "speak/talk with" doesn't work very well.
 
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