familiar with/to

Deborah White

Senior Member
Korean Korea
When "familiar" is followed by "with" (such as in "Are you familiar with Korean food?"), it indicates that sb is familiar with/knows a lot of sb/sth; when "familiar" is followed by "to", it indicates that sth is familiar to sb. (Sb knows sth already and very much) (such as in "This handwriting is familiar to me.")

But can we use "Are you familiar to her?" to mean that "Does she know you?" / "Is she familiar with you?"

Or, are we only allowed to say "Are you familiar with her?", meaning that "Do you know her very much?"

So repeat my question again,
1) Are you familiar to her?
2) Are you familiar with her?

Both OK? or only 2)?
  • Sallyb36

    Senior Member
    British UK
    I suppose it can be done, but we would never say that. We would say Is she familiar with you?, or more likely does she know you?
    Are you familiar with her, means do you know her. We would not say are you familiar to her?, as I said before we would say Is she familiar with you?


    Senior Member
    South Africa
    I think that way too.
    We don't need to say "Are you familiar to her?"
    Because we have "Is she familiar with you?" already.


    I can only think of a type of circumstances when I would say "familiar to". Let´s say you show someone a pic, of a girl and aske him.

    Does she seem familiar to you?.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    From the top of the thread -

    1) Are you familiar to her?
    This is a rather strange question. You are asking me about something that really only she can answer. I can give you my opinion, of course.

    2) Are you familiar with her?
    Suppose I am evaluating job applications with Bill. One of the applicants works for an organisation that I know. I explain this to Bill. Bill asks, "Are you familiar with her?" - meaning, "Do you know anything about her?"

    Is she familiar with you?
    Again, you are asking me what she thinks and all I can do is give an opinion.

    Does she seem familiar to you?
    Completely natural question. Do I think I have seen her anywhere before?
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