Improve Your Vocabulary: KNOW, MEET, MEET WITH, or MEET UP?

Improve Your Vocabulary: KNOW, MEET, MEET WITH, or MEET UP?

Do you know the difference between “know” and “meet”? We use these verbs in almost every conversation, so let’s make sure you use them correctly! I’ll teach you the meaning of “know” and “meet” as well as expressions like “meet with” and “meet up with”. Sometimes the difference is between formal and informal English. In other cases, these words and expressions have very different meanings. Try the quiz at to practice what you’ve learned.


Hello. My name is Emma, and in today’s video I am going to teach you about the difference between “know” and “meet”. This is a very common mistake I hear many, many students making. Okay. I’m also going to teach you about the difference between “meet”, “meet with”, or “meet up with”. Okay? And this, in case you’re wondering, is the past tense of “meet”. Okay? So in this video we’re going to talk about: “know”, “meet”, “meet up with”, and “meet with”, and: What are the differences between those different words? So let’s get started.

So I have here four sentences. “I knew Chelsea last week.” And “knew” is the past of “know”. “I met Chelsea last week.” “Met” is the past of “meet”. “I met with Chelsea last week.” and: “I met up with Chelsea last week.” Do you know what the difference between these sentences are? Are there any ones that have a mistake in them or all these all good sentences? Okay, so take a moment and think about it. Okay.

So, let’s first look at the difference between these two: “I knew Chelsea last week.” and “I met Chelsea last week.” So I have here some pictures. Pictures can really help you remember things, and they can really, you know, help make a point… A stronger point. So, let’s get started over here. We have “meet”, which is now and the past, which is “met”. I have here two people. These people do not know each other. It’s the first time that they are talking. Okay? They don’t know each other. So what do they say? They say: “Nice to meet you!” We use “meet” when we’re meeting somebody for the first time. We use “meet” with strangers. Okay? So these guys, they don’t know each other and now they are meeting for the first time. Okay, so these two, we could say: “They met last week.” Meaning: The first time they shook hands: “Hi. Nice to meet you.” was last week.

Now, compare this to “know” or “knew”, which again, is the past tense. We have here two friends. Okay? We can call them David and Ken. They’re friends forever. Okay? They’ve been friends for a very long time. In this case they know each other. They have history. It’s not they’re meeting for the first time. No. They met a long time ago. So if there’s history between two people, they know each other. If there is no history between two people and, you know, it’s their first time shaking hands, saying: “Nice to meet you”, they meet each other. Okay? So this one we would never say… This is a mistake I hear a lot. A lot of people say: “Oh. It’s nice to know you.” We don’t say that. Okay? Because “know” means you met the person a long time ago and you’ve… You know, you have a history together. For this, this is the first time, we would use “meet” not “know”. Okay?

So another thing I wanted to say on this is a lot of the times you want to… You know, you want to talk about how long has somebody been friends with somebody or how long has somebody had this person for their teacher. So the… What we usually use is the present perfect, so we often say how long we’ve known someone. Okay? So “known” is the past participle of “know”. So what you can say if somebody says: -“Oh. How long have you known your husband for?” -“I’ve known my husband for 10 years.” -“How long has Dave known Ken for?” -“Dave has known Ken for five years.” Okay? So, again, this is asking about: How long is your history? How long have you known each other for? Again, this is key English. It comes up a lot in conversation. When you meet somebody, you know, and there’s like a couple, you often say: “Oh. How long have you known Bob for? How long have you known Jennifer for?” Okay? So now let’s look at some of the differences with “met”, or, sorry. “Meet”, “meet with”, and “meet up with”.

Okay, so quick question to you. We’ve just gone over the difference between “know” and “met”. For these two: “I knew Chelsea last week.”, “I met Chelsea last week.” which one do you think is correct? Well, if you said number two: “I met Chelsea last week.” that’s right. Oh, okay. “I met Chelsea last week.” This one is correct, because usually you know somebody for a long time and we usually don’t use “knew” because it makes it sound like the person has died or that you don’t know them anymore. So we usually use “know” or we use “have known”.