use of "touch base"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by klodaway, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. klodaway

    klodaway Senior Member


    I know the meaning of the expression "to touch base with someone", but I would like to know a couple things about its use :
    - is it an AE-only expression? or is it used elsewhere, UK, Oz, etc?
    - is it only used among friends & relatives, or can it be used also in a more formal context (eg. in an email to a person I met during a business fair/exhibition)?

    Thank you for your insight,
  2. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    It's often used in a business context, but mostly between people who have some degree of familiarity already. They have likely, at least, communicated a few times before; this is what would establish the usual context for "touch base," which can be interpreted as meaning "get in touch or discuss updates or new development, likely briefly or peremptorily."
  3. Madrid829 Senior Member

    Washington, DC
    US English, Great Lakes area
    bibliolept has explained it perfectly. It can be used in both formal and informal situations, but I actually hear and use it most frequently in business.

    I'm not sure if they use it often in the UK or not.
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Yes, we do;)
  5. klodaway

    klodaway Senior Member

    I have all my answers, great!
    Thank you all very much!
  6. nzfauna

    nzfauna Senior Member

    Wellington, New Zealand
    New Zealand, English
    It is common in NZE as well.
  7. lamargara New Member

    Just wanted to say "thank you" for the question and for the answer... you're always helpful.
  8. It's a metaphorical use af a baseball term.

  9. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
  10. Nymeria Senior Member

    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    We use it too in Barbados.
  11. pepolas Member

    Italy, Italian
    I use this thread to post a new question.

    Can I say " Thank you for touching base with me"? Is this expression correct, or is it preferable to simply say " Thank you for your email"?

  12. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    "Thank you for touching base with me" would mean "thank you for contacting me to quickly check something with me". So it might work in a very particular context - but it would need that very particular context:).
  13. pepolas Member

    Italy, Italian
    I see... That's not what I want to say; I think ;-)
    I just want to thank my friend for checking up on me. Maybe I could just write "Thanks for checking up on me"? What do you think?

  14. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
  15. pepolas Member

    Italy, Italian
    Okay :)

    "Check on me" is the phrase I need!

  16. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    Further discussion of "check up on / check on" should take place on one of the linked-to threads provided by Loob.

    The subject of this thread is "touch base".

    Cagey, moderator.
  17. GeogeHalin Senior Member

    If my friend and I have arranged to meet for a coffee date 8 days from now, can I say "Let's touch base later this week" to mean let's talk again later this week to confirm that we are both free that day?

    Is that what you mean by using it in an informal situation?

    Thank you!!
  18. DonnyB

    DonnyB Senior Member

    Coventry, UK
    English UK Southern Standard English
    No way! :eek:

    It's a hideous piece of business jargon which really grates on me, and I wouldn't contemplate using it in a social setting with someone I knew.
  19. marriedtoMexican Member

    San Diego, CA
    I guess some people wouldn't use it in a social setting, but I use it exactly in the type of situation you described, GeogeHalin. Maybe it is a personal preference, or maybe it is a cultural difference. I think it is fairly common in American English.
  20. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    Re post 17
    I might use it in your context, too, Geoge: I don't have the same antipathy towards it as Donny.:)
  21. jsharm Senior Member

    English - Australia
    I'm pretty familiar with this expression. "We need to touch base some time and blaa blaa..." - that kind of thing. I've heard it quite often here.

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