Let's suppose a young man is talking to his fiancee's father on the phone (his fiancee is not his countrywoman". The young man has not met her father yet and wants to show a big respect to her father; which one of the following sentences would sound more idiomatic:

  • I have not had the honor of meeting you personally yet, but I hope to see you soon.

  • I have not had the honor of meeting you in person yet, but I hope to see you soon.

Note: I'm sure AE native speakers rarely tend to say such a think as a sign of politeness in their daily conversations unless the second person is from a very higher social segment and perhaps it would sound a bit flattering, but were I live people have got used to say such kind words to each other to show respect.

  • 1
    "I hope to see you soon". Jul 26 '16 at 11:49
  • 3
    In your context, "meeting" already pretty much implies "face to face". However, "personally" usually means you'll do it yourself, and "in person" means "face to face" (e.g. "She will meet him personally/herself" and "She will meet him in person/face to face"). Also, you may wanna consider "but I look forward to it" instead of "but I hope to see you soon".
    – MorganFR
    Jul 26 '16 at 11:51

Personally in the sentence means individually. It's possible to meet someone as part of a group, or be introduced to someone where you don't have an opportunity to really talk to them, but meeting someone personally means you introduce yourself and have an initial conversation.

In person means not via the phone, Internet, etc.. It means you and the person you are meeting are physically in the same place.

If the young man has never seen the father at all yet, really the distinction above is not needed. So merely say:

I have not had the honor of meeting you yet, but I hope see you soon.

Otherwise use personally. Unless you've only talked on the phone to the father and are finally actually going to see the father face-to-face.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.