Become friends with Vs get close to

Xavier da Silva

Senior Member
Hello everyone,


My question: Is the phrase "become friends with" more appropriate/common than "get close to" in the context below? I'd like you to explain that to me, please.


a. Some people become friends with you just to use you when you're successful.

Vs

b. Some people get close to you just to use you when you're successful.


Meaning intended for both phrases: approach and act in a friendly way, behave nicely towards.


Thank you in advance!
 
  • Codyfied

    Senior Member
    They are both similar in meaning. It seems to depend on the context of text in whole, whether formal or not and what may further describe "friends" or how close "getting close to" means.

    Conceptually, to get close to someone can mean: being more and more intimate. Whereas "friends" would only have a connotation of knowing someone better by finding common likes and trust, but having limits to becoming intimate. But "getting close to" someone CAN also simply mean: getting to know them better or becoming friendly with. So again, depends on the context as a whole, I suppose.
     

    Codyfied

    Senior Member
    Yes. on their own, they are equally common phrases. Become friends with, get close to, gain your trust/friendship, buddy up to -- can all be used equally in context of those sentences.

    Further, see the word: Schmooze as a slang term which means something similar to both phrases in this context.
     
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    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    If you mean that someone is behaving in this way in order to take advantage of you in some way (to borrow money, to use your influence or connections to help them achieve something, etc.) then I'd use only "get close to"; this is not really becoming friends. People become friends to their mutual advantage (and enjoyment).

    P.S. Codyfied suggested that the slang "schmooze" has a similar meaning. Not quite; there isn't really any implication in schmoozing of either becoming friends or pretending to do so. It just means to have casual conversation in hope of some gain. An aspiring actor might attend a party, for example, in order to schmooze with directors and producers he has heard will also be there—just in hope of hearing about future plays or films, and/or being remembered by those people in the future.
     
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    Codyfied

    Senior Member
    Ignore that suggestion of Schmooze.

    Perhaps "befriend" has the closer connotation, if preferred. The idea is that it is not a mutual benefit but that one is taking advantage of or being manipulative (in the context given), getting close to you or only acting as a friend in order to ride your success:

    (Oxforddictionary.com)
    befriend
    Pronunciation: /bɪˈfrɛnd/

    Definition of befriend
    verb
    [with object]

    act as or become a friend to (someone), especially when they are in need of help or support
     
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