I've heard both of the sentences:

I learn a lot talking to you.

I learn a lot by talking to you.

Does the first one means I learn a lot while I talk to someone and the second I learn a lot as a result of talking to someone?

  • 1
    They really just mean exactly the same thing, as do I learn a lot from talking to you, I learn a lot through talking to you, I learn a lot while talking to you. And probably other prepositions that don't occur to me just now. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Oct 10 '19 at 16:42
  • 1
    Unlike the other comment and answer, I don't think they mean the same thing. Talking to you refers to informative conversation. But by talking to you means the act of speaking itself. If you are learning public speaking, for instance, it's not so much the content of the speech that's useful but how you moderate your voice, judge people's reactions, and so on. Without by it implies content; with by it implies action. I would have turned this into a full answer, but the question was unfortunately closed—and not appropriately, given how different I think this is from the other. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 13 '19 at 5:01
  • @JasonBassford "He has become very smart working with me." and "He has become very smart by working with me." Do these also work the same way? – user100323 Oct 13 '19 at 5:45
  • @user100323 It's possible to have the same kind of interpretation, but I don't think it's quite as likely with that specific scenario. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Oct 14 '19 at 2:31

Both versions mean the same thing:

  • I learn a lot while talking to someone
  • I learn a lot as a result of talking to someone.

You are free to use either without risk of it sounding strange and your meaning will be perfectly understood.

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