Word Choice – Talk To or Talk About

Nat’s question: “Lately, I have seen quite a few people write ‘I will talk to it at the meeting,’ meaning a particular subject. This sounds weird to me. You can talk to someone but you should talk about a particular subject. Please enlighten me.”

BizWritingTip response: You are absolutely right. The phrase “talk to” is used when you are communicating with a person. It is used particularly when you want to reprimand or scold them. It can also be used in the sense of formal dealings or discussions with another.


She will have to talk to the salesperson regarding the last shipment.

I am unhappy about his performance. I will have to talk to him.

We want to talk to the supplier with regard to pricing.

If you don’t want to give a negative connotation, use the phrase “talk with.”


She wants to talk with the salesperson.

I want to talk with him about his performance.

When you are referring to a topic, the preposition following the verb “talk” should be “about.”


I will talk about it at the meeting.

Let’s talk about it.

There is also the phrase “talk at.” This means speaking to someone but not bothering to listen to their replies.

Is there anyone who talks at you?