Someone wrote:

Oops!, I realized the student hadn't asked me if I was going to that school (she didn't know me), she just wanted the teacher to keep asking the questions.

I offered this sentence:

Oops! I realized the student wasn't with me and she just asked the teacher if she was going to continue, speak up, while I thought she (is with me and) means if I was going to the Speak Up school! What an embarrassment!

The story is about misunderstanding of "are you going to speak up"

He said "to be with sb" means to understand someone but I think it could also means to adress someone to talk with them, right? If no, what is the proper phrase for that?

  • 3
    No, "with me" does not mean to address someone. It means to be in their company, as a companion or friend, or as a member of their group, or to understand what they are trying to say. I am speaking with him means that he and I are having a conversation, but that's because of the verb phrase "to speak with s.o.". To address: "Are you speaking to me?"
    – TimR
    Dec 23, 2016 at 14:54
  • The second example is asked to someone, but it's not used to address someone. So it's addressed to someone, but it's not used as an address. Does that make sense? Are you with me :D? Dec 23, 2016 at 15:35
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    @TeacherKSHuang I got its meaning! he wants to get sure the other person listen to him, right? In Persian we say "Do you listen" or "Are you here?!", but I also expected a shorter way to ask someone to clarify who is talking to, In Persian we literally say "Are you with me?" "No I was with the person next to you"
    – Ahmad
    Dec 23, 2016 at 15:39
  • 1
    @Ahmad: he wants to get [make] sure the other person listen to him, right? No, not listening to him, but comprehending what he is saying, following along.
    – TimR
    Dec 23, 2016 at 15:53
  • 1
    @TeacherKSHuang it can but rarely. It mainly means "are you talking to me".
    – Ahmad
    Dec 23, 2016 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


I agree with @TRomano that to address someone, we use "to."

However, there is also a special case when you're also correct and "with + object" is used to mean "to understand."

For example, when a singer at a concert wants to know if the audience is having as good a time as she is, she might say, "Are you with me!"

As TRomano explained, the literal aspect of this is borrowed from "to be a part of a group."

But its figurative aspect can also be applied to mean, "Are we on the same page!", another figurative phrase derived from its literal meaning.

Ya with me on this :D?

PS - There is one more special case of "with + object" that means "to understand."

Are you with it?

  • 1
    But as I understood Ahmad, he was asking not whether "Are you with me" meant "Do you understand me?" but if it meant "Are you addressing me?"
    – TimR
    Dec 23, 2016 at 15:48
  • @TRomano Heh, I know what you mean. But then the OP had left the comment under his OP about finally getting what "with me" meant and someone (based on the timing, I assume him), had upvoted this answer and so I had undeleted this answer. Otherwise, I had actually deleted it after having re-read your answer and his question. Dec 23, 2016 at 15:56
  • 1
    Your answer adress the title of my question. Just I also asked if I mistook then what's the phrase to ask someone if they are speaking with you.
    – Ahmad
    Dec 23, 2016 at 18:17

No, to be with somebody doesn't mean to address somebody.

to be with somebody in most cases means to be together with someone. It can also mean to be involved in a campaign, mission, case. Also be in a group, company, meeting, etc. In some cases it means to understand and in some cases it may mean are you listening? or are you mentally here?

In order to start a conversation you can say, "to address somebody or to turn to somebody.

  • If I may say so, the second paragraph is hard to parse. I think it's because you are connecting three independent clauses with commas. Aug 10, 2017 at 11:14
  • @user178049 I don't find it hard to parse. Oct 14, 2017 at 8:51
  • You find it easy because you wrote it, which means you know what exactly you want to say. To me, it's hard to parse and it was harder before the edit. Oct 15, 2017 at 9:02

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