what's the difference between the two expressions I stated in the title?

I am guessing that "talk to a customer" is more common, because when I google them there are many more results for that. But "talk with a customer" shouldn't be "incorrect" neither.

Please let me know!

marked as duplicate by FumbleFingers, Edwin Ashworth, Drew, David, Davo Sep 13 '17 at 11:31

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  • 1
    It's implicit in the general significance of the preposition that if you talk with someone it's more likely to be a two-way interaction (perhaps between equal parties), whereas if you talk to them this is more likely to apply when you are the boss (perhaps you're telling them something, but not really seeking feedback). In the more extreme case someone might complain that you're talking at them (in which context they mean you're not listening to anything they might have to say). – FumbleFingers Sep 11 '17 at 17:23
  • ...so the boss of a customer support department could quite reasonably say I'll talk to my staff and tell them they should always refer to "talking with the customer" when writing up reports. – FumbleFingers Sep 11 '17 at 17:27
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    To me (as a British English speaker), the primary difference is that "talk with" sounds American to me. – Colin Fine Sep 11 '17 at 17:51
  • Yes, the Brits are always sorting things out. :) – Lambie Sep 11 '17 at 17:56
  • @ColinFine I agree. This is entirely a question of geographical location. For me, speaking with someone is like singing a duet. As far as I'm concerned we British converse by speaking to one another. – WS2 Sep 11 '17 at 19:38

As the comments have stated, 'talking with a customer' could be seen as less formal, less directional (you can and the customer could be talking about your favorite sports teams, collectively). Talking to a customer could be seen much more directional, think about a police office talking to a group of people, or mother talking to her child. There are slight differences between these two expressions but either of them are correct.


I feel it when we use talk to it is in common way or no purpose. When we use talk with it means intended or purpose of discussing or getting clarity from.

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