Unnecessary preposition? She met <up with> the new coach in the hallway.

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kenny4528

Senior Member
Mandarin, Taiwan
In everyday speech, we fall into some bad habits, using prepositions where they are not necessary. It would be a good idea to eliminate these words altogether, but we must be especially careful not to use them in formal, academic prose.
She met up with the new coach in the hallway.
Hi, all

This paragraph comes from here.
Is it true that native-speaker like to use meet up with rather than meet in spoken English? If so, is it because you have considered it idiomatic usage?
(Why I ask this is because I am taught that native-speaker always prefer using as simple/concise the sentence as possible. I wonder if this is an exception?)

Thanks.
 
  • Merianne

    New Member
    United Kingdom Dutch
    Hi Kenny, there is a slight difference in meaning between meeting someone and meeting up with someone. The first can mean meeting accidentally or an arranged meeting and we use this more often than the second phrase, where the meeting is more likely to be accidental.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    Hi Kenny, there is a slight difference in meaning between meeting someone and meeting up with someone. The first can mean meeting accidentally or an arranged meeting and we use this more often than the second phrase, where the meeting is more likely to be accidental.
    Thank you and welcome to the forum.:) Let me get it straight, you mean:
    The first=meeting someone
    The second=meeting up with someone
    Right?
     

    RocketGirl

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Hi Kenny, there is a slight difference in meaning between meeting someone and meeting up with someone. The first can mean meeting accidentally or an arranged meeting and we use this more often than the second phrase, where the meeting is more likely to be accidental.
    I have to disagree here.

    If I meet up with someone, it is never accidental. In fact, the more I ponder this, the more I come to the conclusion that they are basically interchangeable, and imply purposeful, pre-planned contact.


    To me, for example :
    "I met Mark in the parking lot after work" / "I met up with Mark in the parking lot after work" = A pre-scheduled meeting.
    "I ran into Mark in the parking lot after work" / "I bumped into Mark in the parking lot after work" ... = Purely accidental.
    "I saw Mark in the parking lot after work" = Could be either a pre-arranged meeting or a coincidental encounter, but more likely to be a coincidence.

    Hope that's helpful.

    :)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I have to disagree here.

    If I meet up with someone, it is never accidental. In fact, the more I ponder this, the more I come to the conclusion that they are basically interchangeable, and imply purposeful, pre-planned contact.


    To me, for example :
    "I met Mark in the parking lot after work" / "I met up with Mark in the parking lot after work" = A pre-scheduled meeting.
    "I ran into Mark in the parking lot after work" / "I bumped into Mark in the parking lot after work" ... = Purely accidental.
    "I saw Mark in the parking lot after work" = Could be either a pre-arranged meeting or a coincidental encounter, but more likely to be a coincidence.

    Hope that's helpful.

    :)
    I'm worried by Rocketgirl's remark that they are 'basically interchangeable'. If they both imply pre-planned contact then I was surprised to meet you is not something one could meaningfully say.

    Reading these entries I came to the conclusion that wires had crossed somewhere. I don't think it is profitable to point out where.

    I hope we are all agreed that to meet up with can't be accidental.

    But to meet might be accidental, or it might be pre-arranged; the context should make clear which.
     

    RocketGirl

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    Worried ? Oh dear.

    Well, you are right of course, and the word meet can be used to describe random encounters.

    "I'm glad I met you" comes immediately to mind, for example. Why this example did not come to my mind before is beyond me.

    But don't worry anyway Thomas or anyone else. Afterall, I've generated a bit of discussion haven't I ?

    :)
     

    AWordLover

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hi All,

    He's not the type of guy I'd like to meet up with in a dark alley.

    The guy seems menacing. The imagined meeting would not need to be premeditated or scheduled, it is more the description of a mugging.

    We can not all agree that meet up with signals a prearranged meeting.

    See also this similar thread discussing the difference between meet and meet with.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    Meet and meet up with are interchangeable:

    Meet is to see or get together with someone. I met John at grocery store (by chance). I'm meeting John at the office this morning (planned).

    Meet up with (informal) means to "encounter": to meet someone; to meet someone by chance.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Well, it isn't to this one, as must be clear. We don't say meet up with, perhaps, as much as you do. Let's see what the others say.
    What would you guys (who speak BE) say in this situation then?:confused:

    ---He's not the type of guy I'd like to ------ in a dark alley.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What would you guys (who speak BE) say in this situation then?:confused:

    ---He's not the type of guy I'd like to ------ in a dark alley.
    This is exactly the point. If we meant that he was unpleasant we (or at least I) would say 'he's not the type of guy I'd like to meet in a dark alley'.

    If I heard that someone was meeting up with someone else in a dark alley, I would assume it was for some probably nefarious purpose, and expect to see their names in the newspapers sometime quite soon.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Meet and meet up with are interchangeable:

    Meet is to see or get together with someone. I met John at grocery store (by chance). I'm meeting John at the office this morning (planned).

    Meet up with (informal) means to "encounter": to meet someone; to meet someone by chance.
    I don't think this holds, either, river.

    What about: "We'll head up the coast. You go inland. We'll meet up with you in Mexico City on the 10th."

    This is a prearranged meeting that carries the connotation of two groups deliberately getting back together.

    There are many examples of this use of "meet up with/met up with" on Google:

    An early flight back to Toronto and running late - but before we left we met up with Tracy and Andrew at MEL'S DINER for a super quick goodbye.

    On November the 5th last year, I met up with someone from the PARSHIP site in a little cafe in Sloane Square. We were both beginning to feel a little jaded and had met people with little success.

    After flying into Kathmandu from Bhutan, we plan to meet up with a guide named Hiran Magar that was recommended by other RTW travelers.

    "Plan to meet up with" wouldn't make much sense if "meet up with" only meant a chance encounter. It would be the equivalent of "plan to run into". :)

    The more I think about these phrases, the less sure I am what I think about them. I think it's pretty clear that there's no hard and fast rule, though, for either phrase.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It is perhaps best to offer a guide to usage than to attempt to define the indefinable.

    According to the descriptions given in the OED:

    - Meet or meet with are the forms of choice for chance meetings, but are also used for arranged meetings.

    - If you use meet up or meet up with, it is probably for an arranged meeting, but they may also be for chance meetings.

    I think it is the whole context that determines the choice. Whether the meeting is a chance meeting or an arranged meeting is only part of that context.
     

    river

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    I don't think this holds, either, river.

    What about: "We'll head up the coast. You go inland. We'll meet up with you in Mexico City on the 10th."

    This is a prearranged meeting that carries the connotation of two groups deliberately getting back together.
    I agree with you, James. I wasn't clear. Meet up with can mean a planned meeting or a chance meeting.

    Panj's post explains it well.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hi,
    Is my example sensible to a BE speaker?
    First of all, would this make sense to someone used to BE:

    "He's not the type of guy I'd like to run/bump into in a dark alley."

    (Very informal, perhaps slang, meaning "meet by chance".)

    Your sentence has the same meaning to me:

    "He's not the type of guy I'd like to meet up with in a dark alley."

    I'm only talking about "meet up with" in the context of this sentence. It seems to me that the meaning is the same as "meet", but the extra words convey a certain "flavor" when used informally, at least to me.

    Gaer
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Hmm... to me, "meet up with in a dark alley" sounds like a deliberate meeting. "meet in a dark alley" sounds like a chance encounter.

    I'm an AE speaker. I'm not sure if it's significant, but that's my interpretation of the two sentences.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Hmm... to me, "meet up with in a dark alley" sounds like a deliberate meeting. "meet in a dark alley" sounds like a chance encounter.

    I'm an AE speaker. I'm not sure if it's significant, but that's my interpretation of the two sentences.
    But you did not mention the phrase in context. What about the sentence I specifically commented on?

    That was AWordLover's sentence, and it's something I would not be at all suprised to come across in dialogue, written or spoken (novel, TV, film, etc).

    Gaer
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Do you mean:

    "He's not the type of guy I'd like to meet up with in a dark alley."

    I've only heard the expression with "meet", not "meet up with." To me, this sentence above sounds a little odd, as if I had arranged to meet a scary person in a dark alley for some reason.

    "meet in a dark alley" - 16,900 Google hits
    "meet up with in a dark alley" - 187 Google hits

    I think the "meet up with" version is not the most common version of the saying, Gaer.
     

    gaer

    Senior Member
    US-English
    Do you mean:

    "He's not the type of guy I'd like to meet up with in a dark alley."

    I've only heard the expression with "meet", not "meet up with." To me, this sentence above sounds a little odd, as if I had arranged to meet a scary person in a dark alley for some reason.

    "meet in a dark alley" - 16,900 Google hits
    "meet up with in a dark alley" - 187 Google hits

    I think the "meet up with" version is not the most common version of the saying, Gaer.
    James, you may be correct, but the sentence given by AWL did not strike me as particularly unusual, and I still think it is idiomatic. It may be regional, and it definitely has a "slang" feeling to it.

    I would imagine such as sentence, for instance, in a crime novel and perhaps said by someone not very well-educated.

    Just my impression. I might be completely wrong! :)

    Gaer
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Grammar does not define the answer here. The occassion for usage determines how meet or meet up with is going to be used. "I am going to meet John," describes a planned meeting. Later, "I met John for lunch," describes what happened. However, if neither speaker nor listener had not seen or heard about John for a long time this is the time to use "meet up with" in past tense. "Guess who I met up with?" Reply: "I can't imagine. Give me three guesses." From my experience this meeting by chance is defined by meeting up with.
     
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