0

I do not understand the difference between conversation (n) and talk (n). I am only interested in the difference in the following definitions:

conversation (n):

1: an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people : the act of talking in an informal way

talk (n):

1: an occurrence in which one person talks about something with another person : a conversation or discussion
2: the act of talking about a subject with another person or group : discussion or conversation

Source: Merriam-Webster’s Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


Some examples to put it into concrete:

  • They had a talk/conversation while waiting at the dentist's.
  • The conversation/talk got unpleasant.
4
  • 1
    What sticks out at me from those definitions is that conversation is an informal talk, and talk seems more formal. "We need to talk about Kevin."
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 30, 2019 at 10:17
  • 4
    Note that "conversation" is necessarily two-way. "Talk" can be one-way.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 30, 2019 at 14:34
  • This may be true for other definitions of talk. But this does not fit to the above definitions to be examined here. "1: an occurrence in which one person talks about something with another person : a conversation or discussion." and "2: the act of talking about a subject with another person or group : discussion or conversation"
    – Wogehu
    Jul 2, 2019 at 4:51
  • 1
    "Talk" occurs in many idioms. You can't work out the meaning of an idiom purely by looking up the individual words in a dictionary.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 12, 2022 at 12:13

2 Answers 2

0

The primary difference is that "conversation" is necessarily two-way -- two or more people interchanging utterances.

"Talk", on the other hand, may involve only a single person speaking, with everyone else in the room just listening (or perhaps ignoring the speaker). Of course, two people may "talk to each other", in which case they're having a conversation.

3
  • Quote: "Of course, two people may "talk to each other", in which case they're having a conversation." - Yes, and only in this case I am interested in the differences. Please have a look at the definitions above, who will be examined here.
    – Wogehu
    Jul 2, 2019 at 4:56
  • @Wogehu - The dividing lines are not a sharp as you might want to believe. Certainly when someone in authority says "I'll have a talk with him" the implication is that the "information" will flow mainly in one direction, but tone of voice and general demeanor carry stronger indications.
    – Hot Licks
    Jul 2, 2019 at 11:43
  • "We need to have a talk about something" implies a conversation, although it can in practice mean a lecture. The OP needs to look at various idiomatic phrases such as "have a talk", "give a talk", etc, in which "talk" means different things.
    – Stuart F
    Oct 12, 2022 at 12:12
0

Conversation- it is a style of communication a dresser and reciever which is purposefully and done in a meaningful way.

Talk- it is a style of communication between a dresser and receiver which is informal and done formal.

1
  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Oct 12, 2022 at 12:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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