speak/talk

mimi2

Senior Member
vietnam vietnamese
Is "speak to" in this sentence synonym of "talk to ".
"The new students are speaking to the principal."
Thanks.
 
  • maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    mimi2 said:
    Is "speak to" in this sentence synonym of "talk to ".
    "The new students are speaking to the principal."
    Thanks.

    "Speak to" is slightly more formal than "talk to".

    If - after the students have finished speaking to the principal - the principal told one of those students "Stay behind please, I wish to speak to you.", the student would be more concerned than if the principal said "Stay behind please, I wish to talk to you."

    When a parent says to a teenager, "I need to speak to you" the teenager is in trouble.:)
     

    mimi2

    Senior Member
    vietnam vietnamese
    I undertand what you have explained so I think that the principle is in trouble with the students.
    Is the sentence I wrote to you right or not?
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    English
    Oh yes, the sentence is right.

    Principals are not usually in trouble with their students, (the power in the relationship usually works in the other direction) so don't assume that they principal really is in trouble - they may just be doing all the talking.
    * They are new and will have a lot of questions.
    * There are several of them and only one principal - so they will be doing more talking.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    To speak/talk to someone is to tell them something.

    To speak/talk with someone is to discuss something with them.
     
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