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My friend was hanging out with a girl he likes and I wanted to know whether when they hung out, were they with a group of other people or it was like there were only two of them hanging out.

I wonder if "did you two hang out alone" is correct here? Or are there other ways that I can say this?

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    No, Did you two hang out along? is not valid. There are probably other contexts were along and together are synonymous and interchangeable, but this isn't one of them. The correct form is Did you two hang out together? May 4, 2022 at 17:37
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    did you maybe mean "hang out alone"?
    – Esther
    May 4, 2022 at 18:02
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    Do you mean: "Hang out alone"?
    – Lambie
    May 4, 2022 at 18:11
  • yea sorry I misspelled I do mean "hang out alone"
    – Joji
    May 6, 2022 at 1:05

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This is highly informal speech, but I have never heard "hang out along" as its own phrase and believe it to be unidiomatic.

However "Did you two hang out along with the band" is idiomatic. As FumbleFingers said, the phrases "along with" and "together with" can have very similar meanings although even then they seem to me to have very slight differences in nuance. I would interpret "along with" to imply a less close relationship than "together with." but that may be a personal peculiarity.

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  • I'm not keen on the doubling up of prepositions in, say, Did you hang out together with the band? In fact, the only context where I'd really find it acceptable would be if "you" (the addressees) was a plural usage. Where the speaker is talking to two or more people, so together refers to the addressees "collectively" acting as a unit, and with refers to the band (who are being "hung out with" by the addressees). May 5, 2022 at 13:15
  • But what do I know? I still have trouble getting my head around the preposition usage in We're going down the pub. Do you want to come with? - which has gained a lot of traction in recent decades. May 5, 2022 at 13:17
  • @FumbleFingers Well I agree. Informal American speech includes a great many usages that I would not use to save my life. But the OP is asking about current informal US usage among young people. I cannot give him a wrong answer just because I think the right answer is semi-illiterate. May 5, 2022 at 17:03
  • I think your "semi-literate" is a useful term here. I have absolutely no problem with extremely slangy / informal usages in general - indeed, I've often voiced the opinion that the ability to use profanity "correctly" can be a clear sign of a fluent / articulate speaker able to communicate well in any register. But if someone told me they were hanging out together with their friends, I'd tend to take that as a sign of not having a very good "ear for language". And I assume learners would rather not end up in that category simply for lack of being informed otherwise! May 5, 2022 at 17:34
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    I agree completely with your previous comment completely. May 6, 2022 at 0:19

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