A BizWritingTip reader asked me to explain the difference between talked to and spoke to.
Both words are the past tenses of words with similar meanings.
Spoke to means “held a conversation with.” Talked to means “communicated ideas, information, or feelings in spoken words.”
However, talked to is deemed a little more forceful as it implies more of a one-sided conversation. Spoke to conveys the impression of a dialogue.
I talked to him about the poor quality of his work. (conveyed information)
I spoke to them regarding the department’s reorganization and how it would affect them. (sought information)