Know/Meet

What's the difference between know and meet?

The verbs know and meet are sometimes confusing for people learning English. We can summarise the difference like this: know relates to familiarity or ability, while meet refers to one-off occasions, such as introductions, chance encounters, or scheduled appointments. Read the examples below to learn about the difference between know and meet, then do the exercises to test your knowledge.

Example

Bronwyn and her family have just moved to Ireland from Germany. They don’t know the town very well and they don’t know many people either.

They know it will be hard to adjust to life in a new country.

Luckily, Bronwyn knows how to make friends and she has already met some nice girls at school. She’s going to meet them at a cafe this weekend.

Know

  • be familiar with a person, place or thing
Examples:
Bronwyn’s family don’t know the town very well.
They don’t know many people either.
  • have information/awareness about something based on your own experience or knowledge, or based on something another person told you
Example:
They know it will be hard to adjust to life in a new country.
  • have a skill or be able to do something (know how)
Examples:
Luckily, Bronwyn knows how to make friends.
The family know English pretty well, which is helpful.

Meet

  • be introduced to someone or see someone for the first time
Example:
Bronwyn has already met some nice girls at school.
  • arrange to be at a particular place at a specific time
Example:
Bronwyn is meeting her friends at the cafe at 2 o’clock.
  • see someone you know by chance
Example:
Bronwyn already met one of her new friends while she was shopping at the supermarket, which was a nice surprise.