Falar com versus falar a

Most of the phrases I’ve seen in the various lessons typically pair falar with com, for example

Tu falas com o homem

which is translated to

You talk to the man

in Practice Portuguese, although my brain wants to translate this as

You talk with the man.

I’ve just come across the phrase

Tu falas àquele amigo

which the lesson translates to

You talk to that friend.

This is an example of course of falar being paired with a instead of com. I assume this version is correct as well?

Tu falas com aquele amigo

Based on the lessons my impression is that “falar com” is more common than “falar a”. Is one preferred over the other?

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De acordo com o “Guia prático de verbos com preposições” (o que é muito bom para ler se não conseguir dormir) -

Falar pode tomar as seguintes preposições:
Falar Com (speak with)
Falar Por (Speak for/on behalf of)
Falar A (Speak to)
Falar De (Speak of)
Falar Sobre (Speak about)
Falar Em (Speak about/mention)
Falar Para (Speak to/call - as in to telephone)

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@pwsteele, as @samarang listed, several prepositions can be correctly paired with the verb falar, with varying meanings.

In the case of falar a (talk to) and falar com (talk with), falar com is indeed more commonly heard, but this also has to do with the base meaning of each one - we are more likely to talk with people (mutual exchange) than to them (unilaterally, if interpreted literally) :slight_smile: I would say that there’s a bit less interchangeability between falar a and falar com in Portuguese than there is between talking to and talking with in English.

Is there a difference between falar com and conversar com? They both seem to mean talk with. Can they be used interchangeably?