English Lesson: Meet Vs. See

Michael Confusing Words Leave a Comment

I met Yalcin about ten years ago when I was working in a language school. He lived here in New York for almost six years, and then he moved back to Turkey. The last time I saw him was last December. He is coming to New York next week, and so I suggested we meet on Friday at our favorite pizza joint. I am looking forward to seeing him again soon.

Meet and see are both used to talk about people spending time together, but these words are used differently. Do you know how to use them? Have a look at the paragraph above once more, then check today’s lesson.

Meet is used when we talk about the first time we spend time with someone. Here, meet means “this is the first time we are spending time together.” Thus, when you spend time with someone for the first time you usually say, “It’s nice to meet you.” This phrase, “It’s nice to meet you,” is only used the first time you spend time with someone. Here are some other examples of using meet this way:

  • I met John about ten years ago
  • I am going to meet my sister’s new boyfriend tomorrow night.
  • David met his wife at a party.

Meet is also used when you make an appointment, plans, or have a schedule. In this case meet means “we have an appointment or a meeting scheduled.” Here are some examples of using meet this way:

  • I suggested we meet on Friday.
  • Let’s meet tomorrow at 10:00 at the coffee shop.
  • Joe and Tom are meeting at the library after school to study.
  • The managers will meet in Boston on May 15.

We use see when we talk about spending time with someone when it is not the first time. It could be a planned event or an unexpected situation, but in either case use see when it is not the first time you spend time together. So, when you make plans with someone you have met before you can say, “I am looking forward to seeing you.” Here are some other examples of using see this way:

  • The last time I saw John was last December.
  • I am supposed to see Tomoko after school tomorrow.
  • Jenny is coming back to NYC from Spain. I can’t wait to see her.
  • It’s nice to see you again!

Have you met someone recently? Did you see anyone today? Leave a comment below! Thanks for studying with me today! I’m looking forward to seeing you here again.
If you know anyone who might be interested in this English language point, why not help them out! Just share this lesson with them. Thanks for studying today!

Show your support →


Grammar Book

Everything Your GRAMMAR BOOK Didn’t Teach You

Yes, your grammar book probably taught you the difference between during and while, but it probably didn’t teach you how we actually use those words in everyday English. This book does!

You’ll also learn how to really use phrases such as:

  • By Friday and Until Friday
  • In the end and At the end
  • I’m bored and I’m boring
  • Even if and Even though
  • Just and Only
  • Much and Many
  • Stop doing it and Stop to do it…and so much more!

You’ll also learn how to use causatives, conditionals, frequency adverbs, modal verbs, articles, and prepositions.

It’s …Everything Your GRAMMAR BOOK Didn’t Teach You