4

What is the difference between "meet" and "meet with"?

For example, which of these should I say?

  1. I met my boss yesterday
  2. I met with my boss yesterday
  3. I'm meeting my friends tonight
  4. I'm meeting with my friends tonight
11

I met my boss yesterday.

Without elaboration, this implies that you met your boss for the first time.

I met my boss at Spago* yesterday.

You had lunch or dinner with your boss. (It was not your first encounter.)

I met with my boss yesterday.

You got together with your boss for a specific purpose. It was likely to be a working meeting of some sort.

I'm meeting my friends tonight.

You're going out to have fun with your friends.

I'm meeting with my friends tonight.

You're getting together with friends for some shared purpose. It might be for fun, but the "with" is more likely to be used to suggest a special purpose to the meeting: planning, hobby, whatever.

* Spago is an upscale restaurant, suitable for business luncheons or important dinners.

  • 5
    To clarify, "I met my boss at Spago yesterday." does not necessarily imply you met your boss for the first time at a place called Spago. – BruceWayne Oct 20 '16 at 18:04
  • 2
    @BruceWayne: I thought that was implicit, but no harm in making it explicit. – Robusto Oct 20 '16 at 18:48
  • "I met my boss at Spago yesterday." implies that the meeting was unplanned, or even unexpected, especially if "Spago" is a grocery store, or some other place unrelated to business functions. Lunch/dinner plans are often expressed as, "I had lunch with my boss yesteraday." But, "I met my boss at the cafe" does not imply whether the meeting was planned or unplanned without more context. – jpaugh Oct 20 '16 at 21:10
  • 1
    @Robusto Got it. If I had known of the place, that would have supplied the missing context. I would include that link in the answer. With it, your explanation makes sense. (Without it, readers may get a bit confused, whether fluent or not.) – jpaugh Oct 20 '16 at 21:14
  • 1
    Note that traditionalists, certainly in the UK, regard "meet with" as ugly (because the "with" is redundant), and regard "meet up with" as an absolute horror. – Michael Kay Oct 20 '16 at 22:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.