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The discussion in comments to Tyler James Young's answer to this question Which is correct: 'haven't done since' or 'haven't done for'? deserves to be asked as a separate question.

Is the following phrase usage correct in British English (and incorrect in American English)?

I haven't met my friend for a year.

The point of contention here is the use of met when referring to a meeting which is not the first one.

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  • I'm reluctant to call it "incorrect", but I certainly prefer the versions presented by FumbleFingers in his comment on Tristan's answer. (I'm a speaker of American English.)
    – user230
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 19:14
  • It's fine. If you dropped that line into a conversation, nobody would notice anything strange about it.
    – user5505
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 15:05

2 Answers 2

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From Tristan's answer, and comments thereto, it seems there's a range of opinions. So here's my take...

1: I met John yesterday (we became acquainted/were introduced for the first time)
2: I met with John yesterday (we had a meeting/discussion by arrangement)
3: I met up with John yesterday (we came across one another unexpectedly)

The bracketed supplementaries are my default interpretations in the absence of any other context, but it's important to note that #1 (by far the most common form) can be used with all three senses. Also, not everyone will recognise my distinction between #2 and #3 (but neither would normally be used in the first time sense).

Thus I would unhesitatingly say that in OP's context, seen is the better verb.

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There is nothing wrong with it, from a British perspective. There may be other ways to word it, as well.

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    Speaking as another Brit, I don't like OP's usage much. I'd rather hear either "I haven't met up with my friend", or "I haven't seen my friend". Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 18:23
  • FF, your second suggestion sounds better. The words up and with in the first one are superfluous, surplus to requirements, unnecessary added extras.
    – Tristan
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 22:42
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    It's not at all "superfluous", given that plain meet often means meet for the first time. And there's certainly no inherent reason why short forms should always be preferred over long forms. Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 23:05
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    All I can say is when I search on Google Books for "I haven't met my friend since..." it produces no written instances at all (but it does offer this very page as an example of what it found on the Internet at large). But there are plenty of written instances of "I haven't seen my friend since". I think met is at least "slightly odd" in OP's context. Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 0:37
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    @Kaz: I agree that it would be a contrived context indeed where you could "meet with" someone you've never met before. (Though of course you could feasibly excuse the fact of being late [to arrive/do something] by saying you met with some problems - and you wouldn't necessarily want that to be understood as meaning you're familiar with the experience! :) But you're quite right that including up is a bit colloquial. It could also be seen as emphatically disambiguating though. So I reckon I can usually spare enough breath for that one little extra word, just to be on the safe side! Commented Nov 15, 2013 at 5:18

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