I have a question regarding the difference b/t 'connect to' and 'connect with'. Thank you very much in advance.

  • Can you find some example sentences? – Jan Jun 8 '19 at 15:39
  • From this answer to a similar question on ELU: connect to is physical, as in "The printer is connected to the computer's USB port" and connect with is not physical, as in "He was not connected with the gang that robbed the bank." But it's not a hard-and-fast distinction, by any means. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 8 '19 at 15:48
  • @FumbleFingers I must disagree with that distinction. I have seen, and indeed used, both forms in both senses. – David Siegel Jun 8 '19 at 16:12
  • In general, "to" is directional, and implies a (mostly) one-way connection. "With" is bidirectional, and implies a two-way connection. But this is just nuance -- the actual meaning will depend on context. – Andrew Jun 8 '19 at 16:20
  • @DavidSiegel: I did say what I quoted there isn't a hard-and-fast distinction. But consider, say, This device is connected to / with the Internet. I'm pretty sure most native speakers would agree those two have different primary implications - to there implies an effectively "physical" comms link to the Net, whereas with implies is something to do with / has some kind of relationship with. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 8 '19 at 16:30

In practical use, the difference in meaning is generally very slight, often there is no difference in meaning worth noting.

"Connect to" suggests a primary thing and a secondard thing, or at least a difference in form,

  • Connect the hose to the faucet.
  • Connected the plug to the socket.

"Connect with" suggests an equality or similarity of the things being connected:

  • The CPU is connected with the various components via the bus.
  • when you join a social network, you will connect with many interesting people.

"With" is also more often used in the form "connected with" than in the present. or imperative "connect with"

Both forms may be used of an actual physical connection, or msy be used metaphorically, of a social connection, or a purely theoretical relation.

  • MegaCorp is connected to many other businesses.
  • Jones is connected with activists of the Purple party.
  • It is important for a student to connect to those who can be helpful later.
  • It is important for a student to make connections with those who can be helpful later.
  • The common use of foreign troops was contented with a change in the political structure of the Roman state.

Each form can be sued as a verb meaning "make a connection with":

  • The foot bone connected to the ankle bone. (from a folk song "Them Dry Bones" describing how skeletons reassembled themselves at the command of Elijah the Prophet)
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