Is there any difference in usage?

Meet a friend or meet with a friend.

I'm meeting my friend today.

I sometimes meet with my friends.

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    You could have a look here or here. Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 17:15
  • Thank you but it's not what I ask about. Is it possible to use the expression meet with friends or I must only say meet friends?
    – Marita
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 17:20
  • If you want to use the latest neologism then you "meet up with" a friend and get two redundant words for the price of one.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 12:37
  • Thanks for deleting the question. I'd like to advise you to visit our sister site English Language Learners and try to ask specific questions. It is not easy to learn and understand how English words work unless you spend a lot of time reading various sources such as newspaper, magazine, etc. ELL will be helpful to you.
    – user140086
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 17:47
  • Thank you . I think I better read,speak and understand than translate. It is really difficult because of culture gap.
    – Marita
    Commented May 25, 2016 at 19:02

2 Answers 2



1: I sometimes meet my ex-wife in the park
2: I sometimes meet with my ex-wife in the park

The default meaning of #1 is that I encounter her (probably accidentally) when I go to the park, whereas for #2 it's that I meet up with her by arrangement from time to time.

This is because to meet on its own has a broad range of possible meanings. But if you include the preposition (to meet with), this puts more focus on the idea that you spent time with the other person, rather than briefly encountered them.

If you're talking about a future meeting, it's probably planned in advance anyway, and you'll be expecting to do more than simply nod to each other in passing. So in that context there's really not much to choose between the two.

  • As always, great answer
    – haha
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 18:15
  • Thank you very much. The matter is that I was told that any time I want to mention that I'm going to see my friends I should say I'm going to meet my friends without using of with. I completely lost myself in all these:))
    – Marita
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 18:23
  • @Marita: The distinction above doesn't provide a hard-and-fast rule for all contexts. But in your example I sometimes meet [with] my friends I think with no further context, most native speakers would expect the preposition to be present (because you probably don't just encounter them, you spend time with them). Consequently, if you don't include with, your audience may be inclined to assume a less likely meaning (that you mainly interact with your friends online, say, and only occasionally meet them "in the flesh"). Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 18:35
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    "I am going to meet my friends" might mean to go somewhere and wait for your friend.
    – haha
    Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 18:57
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    @Marita: There are many contexts where if someone uses a less common form, we automatically assume this is because they intend a less common meaning. In this case, the default meaning of meet [someone] is just encounter, come across [him], leaving meet with him free to be assigned a different meaning. If we have a different indirect object, such as meet with his approval, the verb takes on yet another meaning. Commented Dec 22, 2015 at 19:02

For me, meet with (apart from the metaphoric meet with approval/disaster) is a neologism that I encountered in American sources before I ever met it in Britain.

I would not talk about meeting with my friends whether the meeting was planned or not. If I spoke of meeting with someone I would imply a more or less formal meeting, in a context of work or something like it.

  • That's interesting. I certainly recognize that there's something very slightly unnatural about meeting with one's friends (because of the associations with holding formal meetings). Maybe you're right that it's essentially an Americanism. But I think I also find it easier to "tolerate" because it puts me in mind of meeting up with one's friends (which has always been perfectly natural to me, and always implies "by arrangement"). Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 14:23
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    Meet up with is another Americanism, now widespread in Britain, which I have resisted.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 15:08
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    Tsk. I always took you for a committed "descriptive linguist" who just happened to have a fine ear for regional differences. I'm now starting to suspect you might be a closet "nationalist" - at a time when we're all supposed to be discarding our local affiliations and signing up to become good Europeans! :) Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 15:12
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    I am a committed descriptivist. But I'm often more selective in my own speech: I just try and avoid forcing my preferences on others. Meet up with always struck me as a wordy neologism, irrespective of its origin.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 15:17
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    I should admit I was being a bit titchy (tongue-in-cheeky) there. I do remember the teacher telling us that, but I'm pretty sure even as a 12-year-old I thought it was pedantic/prescriptive tosh (though I probably didn't have those p-words at my fingertips then). In our context here I use either without giving it any thought. Obviously there are other contexts (We tried to open the door, but it was locked) where I trust I can be 100% certain we and all other competent speakers will always get it right. But mostly both versions are fine by me, and I don't see any "right/wrong" issue. Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 21:51

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