Published: 02nd March 2019
Hooked onto grammar yet? Here are explanations to phrases like 'meet up', 'bump into' and more
To bump into someone means to meet someone by chance. When we meet someone unexpectedly, we say that we bump into the person
In my previous column, I discussed some of the word pairs that often confuse English language learners. This week’s column discusses the following two queries that were sent by our readers:
1. What is the difference between ‘meet up’ and ‘meet with’?
2. I came across the term ‘newfangled technology’ in a newspaper article. What is the meaning of the word ‘newfangled’?
‘To meet up’, ‘to meet with’ and ‘meet up with’: It is very common to use the verb ‘meet’ without any particles (up or with) to mean the act of arranging to be in the company of someone as in the sentences below:
I met my professor two days ago.
Let’s meet at the park.
In the first example, the verb ‘meet’ is used transitively and it takes the object ‘my professor’. In the second example, the verb is used intransitively and it is not followed by an object. Every language evolves and English is no exception. ‘Meet with’ is used transitively and ‘meet up’ is used intransitively. Here are examples:
I met with my professor two days ago to discuss my dissertation.
Let’s meet up at the park.
There is also a subtle difference in meaning between the two expressions. ‘Meet with’ is formal and denotes the importance of a particular meeting whereas ‘meet up’ is quite an informal term. The term ‘meet with’ also means ‘to experience’. Examples:
The government’s experiments with new rules met with success.
Our project proposal met with resistance.
The term ‘meet up with’ is an American English expression, but it is widely used wherever the English language is spoken. The difference in meaning between ‘meet’ and ‘meet up with’ is only in purpose. ‘Meet up with’ is more purposeful than the just using the word ‘meet’.
In this context, it is defintely good and useful to know the meaning of the phrases ‘to bump into’ and ‘to hook up’.
To bump into someone means to meet someone by chance. When we meet someone unexpectedly, we say that we bump into the person. Examples:
I bumped into my favourite high-school teacher at the airport yesterday.
How will you feel if you bump into one of your classmates after twenty years?
To hook up means to meet someone, spend time together and form a relationship with the person. It is an informal term. Examples:
We never expected that he would hook up with his co-passengers.
She hooked up with all her seniors in the college and surprised everyone.
The term ‘hook up’ has another meaning too. This informal term means to form a romantic or sexual relationship with someone. Many learners of English use the term without knowing the meaning of ‘hooking up’. Here is an interesting anecdote.
A study, conducted by a doctoral student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, reveals that many students who were familiar with the phrase ‘hooking up’ did not know the actual meaning of it. The researchers defined the term as ‘entailing certain sex acts between two people who are not dating or in a serious relationship and do not expect anything further’.
What does the word ‘newfangled’ mean? It means ‘recently created or invented’. The term has a negative connotation because some people use it to refer to something that was recently made but it is not an improvement on what existed before. A new idea, word or piece of equipment is described as newfangled, if it is considered unnecessary.
She has some newfangled gadgets but she doesn’t want to use them.
Your newfangled ideas will not be accepted by the education reforms team.
Grammar is a piano I play by ear. All I know about grammar is its power — Joan Didion