MEET vs. KNOW vs. SEE: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

When we talk about our relationships with other people, the verbs to meet, to see, and to know will come up often. New English speakers might find it hard to tell the difference between the three, so we’ve made this lesson to help clear up any confusion!

TO MEET

To meet is generally used when we meet someone for the first time. It can also be used when making plans.

Examples:

  • I met my friend’s parents for the first time yesterday.
  • We should go over our math notes before the test. Can we meet up next Wednesday to study?

TO KNOW

To know is to have a personal, established relationship with someone. Its meaning should not be confused with to know of, to be familiar with, or to have heard of — all of which share a degree of knowledge, but are not an established, personal relationship with another person. These forms are better suited to when we speak about celebrities, public figures, or people we are aware of through mutual acquaintances.

Examples:

  • I don’t know Barack Obama personally, but I wish that I knew him! He is such an eloquent speaker.
  • Do you know Maria? She’s in our history class, but I’m not sure if you’ve met her yet.

TO SEE

To see someone means just what the verb says: see them! 👀 When you see someone, it means to visit, or that you’ve agreed to meet each other somewhere at a later time. Note that can also be used to refer to a very new romantic relationship, where a couple might not yet be formally dating, but casually seeing each other instead.

Examples:

  • I’m going to go see Charlotte and George at the movies later today. Would you like to join us?
  • Did you see Alex at school today? He wanted to give you back your book.

We know that English isn’t the easiest language to learn. Sometimes, it downright just doesn’t make sense — we get it! Lucky for you, we’re here to help. 😉 Check out our video lesson below to learn more:

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