1. Education
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Confusing Verb Pairs II


2 of 6

Differences between Speak and Talk

There is little difference between 'speak' and 'talk' and they are often used interchangeably.

'Speak' is often used when someone is speaking to a group of people in general. 'Speak' is also used with languages.

Peter speaks both German and Italian.
She spoke about her problems at work.

Important Note: 'Speak' tends to be used in more formal situations.

Verb Forms: Speak - Spoke - Spoken - Speaking

'Talk' is used to express informal conversation between a limited number of people.

My wife and I talked about our child's future.
She continued talking to Jack after I left the room.

Important Note:'Talk' is often used with the preposition 'about' when introducing the subject of conversation, and 'to' when introducing the conversational partner.

Verb Forms: Talk - Talked - Talked - Talking

  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. English as 2nd Language
  4. Beginning English
  5. Vocabulary and Dialogues
  6. The Differences Between Speak and Talk

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.