Who could? I've been confused about the preposition with...

Well, I’ve been confused about the preposition with, 'cause there are several verbs which go with this preposition. Additionally, the preposition “to” many times carries out the same function as “with” does. For instance, “I haven’t spoken with them”, “I’ve never talked to her”, “I had to apologize to my boss yesterday for coming late”. I know these sentences are right, nevertheless, I’m not pretty sure about these ones: “I will meet to/with my co-workers this afternoon”, is it right? or “according to/with him I am ugly”. So, how could I find out a good explanation for this “troublem” (Ja, ja,)?? , How do I know when I have to use those prepositions properly and why? Is there a specific rule for that? or it’s pure memory, isn’t?? Help me out guys and I’ll appreciate a list of exceptions and extraordinary cases…

So long!! :?

Hi Serzige,

Let’s agree that prepositions are a big problem - a pain in the neck. Atempting to define the use of individual ones is virtually an impossible task. I could try one in the case of to and with concerning speak/talk. Speak to suggests a direct communication but speak with is more of a conversation in a two way process. You don’t usually say meet to but meet with or simply meet plus direct object. According is usually followed by to. My advice is to learn the expressions where particular verbs/nouns are linked with particular prepositions rather than try to learn specific uses for the different prepositions. You could if you like take a look at a piece I’ve written for our site on prepositions which you can find under the heading esl lessons. If you look through the index, you’ll find the word prepositions.

Hoping this helps


One easy way to remember this, if you’d like a small rule that applies in most situations-

If your action applies only to you, use to.

For instance,

“I had to apologize to my boss yesterday for coming late”

He wasn’t apologizing as welll, so WITH does not work here.

“I will meet with my co-workers this afternoon.”

Meet is a verb that requires at least 2 to participate. Your co-workers will participate in the action of meeting, so WITH is the right word to use.

Hope this helps!