Can I use this phrase for complete strangers?

For example, my friend and I are sitting at the table in a coffee shop. There is a girl sitting at another table. I want to come to her, introduce myself and have a conversation with her. To share my thoughts with the friend, I should say:

  1. I want to meet her. – As I think, the word “meet” doesn’t fit since I've already met her, even if we don’t know each other.
  2. I want to pick her up. – If there is not a girl, but a guy, and I want to just make a new friend? “Pick up” also doesn’t fit. Also, it's not very polite, is it?
  3. I want to get to know her. – Can I use "get to know" here? I mean, if I already know someone, I can say: “I want to get to know her/him better”. But, if I don’t know that person at all, is it OK to use “get to know”?

If “get to know” is a bad choice, what should I put in the blank below?

– I want to him/her.


1 Answer 1


If the girl is sitting at another table, you want to meet her or to be introduced to her. The fact that you have seen her does not signify that you have met her, as you suggest.

To get to know someone is not the same as meeting them. It is only after you have met someone - or seen/heard (about) them - and presumably been attracted to them that you wish to take the relationship further by getting to know them (better).

You do NOT want to pick her up. This expression is used in two contexts and can easily be ambiguous. The first context is merely to fetch as in to pick up your children from school or to pick up at parcel at the post office. The second context is to secure the services of a prostitute, particularly a street walker.

In short, you want to meet the girl. The word meet exactly fits the context.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .