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Is it grammatically correct to say

"One of the disadvantages of chatrooms is that you do not know the people with whom you are talking"?

I think it is better to say "the people you are talking with" but I do not know if the first option would be possible.

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Both are correct, and there is no change in meaning. This is an example of Pied-piping, which is characteristic of a more formal style. Which may or may not be appropriate for a chat room. – John Lawler Apr 6 '13 at 17:35
Saying "the people you are talking to" would be the best way. – Tristan Apr 6 '13 at 18:47
Even better the people you're talking to. That's what would be said; Pronoun + be is almost always contracted in speech. And often in chat rooms, where the contractions often surface as unapostrophicated Im, im, your, youre, hes, shes, were, there, theyre, their. Clearly leading inevitably to the breakdown of Western Civilization. – John Lawler Apr 6 '13 at 20:16
up vote 4 down vote accepted

‘The people with whom you are talking’ is formal bordering on the pompous. Your alternative is more appropriate for most occasions, but speakers of British English, at least, would be more likely to say ‘. . . is that you don’t know who you’re talking to’.

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Anybody would say it that way, Barrie. At least, so I hope. – tchrist Apr 6 '13 at 18:21
Saying "talking with" is also formal and unnecessary. Talking to would be more natural and better. – Tristan Apr 6 '13 at 18:45

protected by tchrist Oct 27 '14 at 16:01

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