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27 / 02 / 2004

KNOW vs. MEET: meaning and examples

Good morning.

Another common error amongst English students is the confusion between the verbs to know and to meet.

Remember, when you are first introduced to someone, you meet them. After meeting them, you can then say that you know them. Consider the following examples.

Example 1
Speaker 1: Today is our anniversary. We met for the first time exactly one year ago.
Speaker 2: Wow! You have only known each other for one year?! I thought you had met a long time ago.

Example 2
I knew him a long time ago, but we've lost contact; I have no idea where he is now.

Notice that in these examples know is being used to describe a state during a lot of years. Meet always describes one moment or event in the past (the act of meeting), not a state. Consider the two sentences in example 3.

Example 3
I met him a long time ago, but we didn't get married until last year.

I have known him for a long time, but we didn't get married until last year.

Have a good day and a wonderful weekend!

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