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Hi people!

I'd like to whether there is any difference between speak to and speak with:

e.g: "I.d like to speak to Mrs. Johnson, please." (on the phone)

or

"I'd like to speak with Mrs. Johnson, please." (on the phone)

Is there any difference? Are both correct? I've heard that "with" is mainly used in the US, and "to" in Britain, is this so? Is it just a regional difference?

Could you please explain this to me and provide some examples?

I have the feeling that "to" may be preferred when one person is addressing another or a group of people, and "with" when two or more people are having a conversation. Besides, I feel that "to" is used when you have something (important) to say to someone, and "with" when you are talking just for the sake of talking.

Thanks a lot!

Mara.
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Hi Mara,

e.g: "I.d like to speak to Mrs. Johnson, please." (on the phone) or

"I'd like to speak with Mrs. Johnson, please." (on the phone)

Is there any difference? Are both correct? I've heard that "with" is mainly used in the US, and "to" in Britain, is this so? Is it just a regional difference? My understanding is that you're right, 'speak with' is more a N.AmE feature, but 'to' is also used there.

I'd say the main difference is this.

speak to Here, it's possible that the other party will just listen.

Yesterday, George Bush spoke to 1,000 Republicans.

Tom's father spoke to him because Tom was not doing his homework.

So, the phrase is not related to importance or the size of the group.

speak with This suggests a conversation, that the other party also speaks. To me, 'with' is less formal.

Best wishes, Clive
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Interesting and informative explanations, Clive.