From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishtalktalk1 /tɔːk $ tɒːk/ ●●● S1 W1 verb 1 conversation [intransitive]TALK TO somebody to say things to someone as part of a conversation I could hear Sarah and Andy talking in the next room.talk about English people love to talk about the weather. All through the afternoon, they sat and talked about their trip.talk to She spent a long time talking to him. She’s very easy to talk to.talk with I got the truth from talking with Elena.talk together They were talking together in the hall. Sue and Bob still aren’t talking (=are refusing to talk to each other).talk in a low voice/a whisper etc They were talking in low voices, and I couldn’t catch what they were saying.talk of (=used especially in formal or literary contexts) We talked of old times.2 serious subject [intransitive, transitive]TALK TO somebody to discuss something serious or important with someone Joe, we need to talk. Is there somewhere we can talk in private?talk to You should talk to a lawyer.talk about We’ve been talking about getting married.talk with Parents should talk with their children about drug abuse.talk sport/politics/business etc ‘Let’s not talk politics now, ’ said Hugh impatiently.RegisterIn written English, people usually say that they are going to discuss, deal with, or address a subject rather than talk about it:In this essay I will discuss the problem of over-population.3 say words [intransitive] to produce words and express thoughts, opinions, ideas etc She was talking so fast I could hardly understand her. How do babies learn to talk? Some residents were frightened to talk publicly.talk (in) French/German etc They started talking in Spanish. Don’t let Dad hear you talking like that (=expressing things in a particular way).4 a speech [intransitive]TALK/MAKE A SPEECH to give a speechtalk on/about Professor Davis will talk about ‘Trends in Network Computing’.5 secret information [intransitive]TELL A SECRET if someone who has secret information talks, they tell someone else about it Even under torture, Maskell refused to talk. He tried to stop his ex-wife from talking on live TV. We should stop meeting like this. People will talk. 6 → talk sense/rubbish/nonsense etc7 → talk (some) sense into somebody8 → talk to yourself9 → know what you are talking about10 → talk the hind leg(s) off a donkey11 → talk about lazy/cheap/hungry etc12 → talking of/about something13 → what are you talking about?14 → I’m talking to you!15 → be like talking to a brick wall16 → talk somebody’s ear off17 → talk trash18 → talk the talk19 → I’m/we’re/you’re talking (about) something20 → now you’re talking21 → look who’s talking, 22 → we’re/you’re talking £500/three days etc23 → talk your way out of something24 → talk nineteen to the dozen25 → talk in riddles26 → talk tough (on something)27 → talk shop28 → talk dirty (to somebody)29 → be talking through your hat30 → talk smack31 → talk to the handGRAMMAR: Patterns with talk• Two people talk: We’ll talk later.• You talk to someone: I’ll talk to you later. ✗Don’t say: I’ll talk you later.• You talk with someone: I’ve talked with her teacher.• You talk about something or talk about doing something: He talked about his feelings.We talked about changing the system. ✗Don’t say: He talked his feelings.• In formal or literary English, you talk of something or of doing something: She’s talking of leaving.• You talk in a particular type of voice: She was talking in a really loud voice.THESAURUStalk to use words to communicate with someone about somethingI need to talk to you about your work.She always enjoyed talking to Jim.Can we talk?speak to talk. Speak is a little more formal than talk. You often use it when saying that someone speaks in a particular way, or that you will speak to someone in order to try to get something done. You only use speak when saying that someone speaks a languageHe spoke with confidence and authority.She was speaking quietly so she didn’t disturb anyone.I’d like to speak to the manager.Do you speak German?go on/drone on/ramble to talk too much or for too long about something, in a way that makes people boredHe went on about how great the team was. I’d better stop rambling and let you get on with your work.waffle /ˈwɒfəl/ British English disapproving informal to talk using a lot of words but without saying anything importantI wish he would stop waffling and get to the point!prattle on disapproving informal to talk continuously about silly and unimportant thingsShe prattled on about her boyfriend for the entire journey.What’s he prattling on about now?to talk about everyday thingshave a conversation to talk to someone for a long time about everyday thingsShe was having a conversation with one of her friends.When I arrived, Joe and Jane were deep in conversation (=very involved in a conversation).I can order food in a restaurant in French, but not have a conversation.chat/have a chat informal to have a friendly informal conversation about things that are not very importantThe girls were chatting outside the house.It’s been nice having a chat with you.gossip to talk about other people’s private lives when they are not there, especially about things that you have heard, which are not completely trueWhat are you two gossiping about?visit with somebody American English informal to have a conversation with someoneI visited with him last week.converse formal to have a conversation with someoneWe met once and conversed briefly.to talk seriouslydiscuss to talk seriously about problems, ideas, or plansThey met to discuss how the building should be designed.She refuses to discuss the matter.talk something over to discuss something with someone because it will affect them, especially someone close to youBefore you accept the job, talk it over with your family.You two need to sit down and talk things over.debate to discuss a subject formally when you are trying to make a decision or solve a problemThe issue will be debated on Tuesday.The UN Security Council debated whether to impose sanctions. → talk around/round → talk back → talk somebody/something ↔ down → talk down to somebody → talk somebody into something → talk something ↔ out → talk somebody out of something → talk something ↔ over → talk through something → talk to something → talk something ↔ up→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpustalk• Is this one of those birds that can talk?• Jerrod's only one year old and he's already starting to talk.• The suspect was questioned for two hours, but refused to talk.• Even after three days of interrogation, Maskell refused to talk.• He said he'd come back and kill me if I talked.• I think we need to talk.• If you have a problem at school, sit down and talk about it with your parents.• If you're having trouble at school, let's sit down and talk about it.• This evening Professor Welch will be talking about Shakespeare's historical plays.• They talked about their favourite pop stars.• Please don't all talk at the same time.• Violence is avoided and talked down whenever possible.• In high school, we often got in trouble for talking in class.• Today they talk of doing so but they have yet to act.• two friends talking on the phone• Danny was talking to a girl he'd just met at the bar.• Powell talked to a group of industry leaders in Atlanta on Tuesday.• He walked along talking to himself.• Gerry wants to talk to his girlfriend before he makes a decision.• It's as if I was talking to somebody.• Usually the people who want to talk to you are the people who have contributed to you.• It's been nice talking to you.• I left Mario talking with my mother.• If you need more money you should talk with Richard.• It's important to talk with your kids about drugs, alcohol, and sex.talk together• It was a story of memories and regrets and resolutions; a story of fathers and sons trying to talk together.• Only a moment since, as it seemed to him, they had all been talking together.• Oliver and Tim were talking together, Cobalt was waiting for his prey.• Gorbachev wrote that only he and Reagan, talking together, could resolve the questions he raised.• We talked together for about two hours.• When his friend comes, they talk together in this foreign language.• She didn't doubt that when Naseem and Nadia talked together they would accuse her of eating the egg.• They talked together whenever there was a halt.talk sport/politics/business etc• And the bloke on the other end of the phone said, I think we could talk business.• Both talking politics and feeling relatively unrestricted about with whom one can safely discuss politics are closely related to educational attainment.• After the debate, they dined on hamburgers and talked sports at a local joint before catching a train back to Washington.• But let's talk business for a moment, Oak.• If you should find the cottage more a liability than you had envisaged then we can perhaps talk business in the future.• Brent and Dad are talking sports, Mom and Cindi are watching the turkey.• The frequency of talking politics rises sharply from the primary to the secondary to the university levels in all five countries.• We do not, by unspoken consent, talk politics when we meet.talking like that• It was distressing to hear her talking like that.• It was their fault, coming with such tales to frighten her; and talking like that about the Nawab.• He'd only have to start talking like that and everything would blow up again and he was too tired for that.talk on/about• They would meet in her flat - the weekend away was still talked about although not realized.• The technical geniuses he is talking about are a drop in the bucket of the total immigration picture.• You can think about it, talk about it, write about it, dedicate your life to it.• a series of talks on linguistics• Are we talking about months or years?• He was careful to stress that he was talking about public ethics, not private ethics.• Prof. Simmons will talk on the benefits of genetic research.• Several of his most distinguished fellows talk about the sense of excitement with which he imbued the enterprise.• He suggests we talk about the witnesses.refused to talk• Questioned about other members of the association from Tanchon, my grandfather refused to talk.• The woman, who was described as mentally unstable, refused to talk about her reasons for the shooting.• Veronica's always refused to talk about it.• But when I was with her I refused to talk about the war.• The two families were so angry that they refused to talk or cooperate with the hospital personnel.• Finally, I just refused to talk, so he left me alone.• Durkheim was a very austere man who led a rigidly timetabled existence and refused to talk to his family except at mealtimes.• The tough-minded minister refused to talk with Eta during its ceasefire and is a popular cabinet member.talktalk2 ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 conversation [countable]TALK TO somebody a conversation After a long talk, we decided on divorce. John, I’d like to have a talk with you.talk about We must have a talk about money.2 → talks3 speech [countable]TALK/MAKE A SPEECH a speech an entertaining talktalk on/about a talk on local historygive/do/deliver a talk Dr Howard will give a talk on herbal medicine.► see thesaurus at speech4 news [uncountable] information or news that people talk about and hear about a lot, but that is not officialtalk of Tickets sold so quickly there’s talk of a second concert.talk of doing something the administration’s talk of reducing weaponstalk that There’s talk that she’s difficult to work with.just/only talk It’s just talk. He’ll never do it.5 type of conversation [uncountable]TALK TO somebody type of conversation That’s enough of that kind of talk. persuasive sales talk That’s fighting talk (=brave and confident words) from Italy’s manager.6 → be all talk7 → be the talk of the town/Paris etc8 → talk is cheap → pep talk, small talk, → idle talk at idle1(2), → pillow talk at pillow1(3)COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 1: a conversationverbshave a talkI must have a talk with Frank before I leave.adjectivesa long talkI had a long talk with Nora this morning.a little talkI’m glad we’ve had this little talk.a serious talkBefore she went to college, her father sat her down for a serious talk.a quiet/private talkShe asked if she could have a private talk.a good talk (=a long talk about important or interesting things)She was upset, but we’ve had a good talk and things are okay now.a nice talkWe all had lunch together and a nice talk. COLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: verbshave/hold talksHe called on the rebels to hold talks with the government.enter into talks (=start having talks)The Ambassador stated that France was prepared to enter into talks on the issue.talks beginTalks began in October and Venezuela said it expects an agreement to be signed soon.talks continue/are underwayTalks will continue through the weekend.talks break down/collapse (=stop because of disagreement)Talks broke down today between the Russian and Japanese delegations.talks resume/are resumedTalks resumed in Geneva on April 19 after a month’s break.talks endThe talks ended without a settlement being reached.ADJECTIVES/NOUN + talks peace talksAll four Arab delegations walked out of the Middle East peace talks yesterday.trade talksTrade talks between the EU and the Americans have once again collapsed.high-level talks (=involving important people)The announcement came after a morning of high-level talks.budget talksThe dollar fell as U.S. budget talks appeared unlikely to produce an agreement.direct talksThe president declared that he was now prepared to enter into direct talks with the rebels.bilateral talks (=involving two groups or countries)Bilateral talks led to the resumption of diplomatic relations.round-table talks (=when everyone can discuss things in an equal way)An election law, agreed during round-table talks, gave every voter the right to two votes.urgent talksThe prime minister called ministers together for urgent talks.crisis talks (=talks to stop a situation getting worse or more dangerous)The unions will hold crisis talks with the company in a bid to save jobs.phrasesa round of talks (=a series of talks that is part of a longer process)A third round of talks was held in May.the breakdown/collapse of talksThe collapse of the talks sent shock waves round the world.
Examples from the Corpustalk• A researcher from our division gave a talk today about recent advances in cancer treatment.• Alice Walker has been invited to give a talk to the literary group this evening.• In those days there was always talk if two people lived together without being married.• "They say he's having an affair with a colleague at work." "That's just talk."• There's an interesting series of talks by well-known writers on the radio this week.• You should have heard Dr. Cooper's talk on his trip to India - it was fascinating.have a talk with• When he had rested for an hour or so, he decided to go and have a talk with June.• Anyway, he'd have a talk with Fiona, and of course Jean as well.• Dawn has asked to have a talk with me.• Well, he said when he left me he was going to have a talk with you.• Listen, John, you're going to have to have a talk with Marty.• He also signalled that he hoped to have talks with Zulu leaders, including Buthelezi, in the near future.• Meanwhile, before his meeting with Mr Clinton, the Prime Minister will have talks with senior members of the new administration.• I mean, we have a special relationship, and I was hoping that he would have talked with you about that.• Dalgliesh knew that no politician would have talked with such freedom unless he had had absolute confidence in his listener's discretion.talk on/about• Several of his most distinguished fellows talk about the sense of excitement with which he imbued the enterprise.• The technical geniuses he is talking about are a drop in the bucket of the total immigration picture.• You can think about it, talk about it, write about it, dedicate your life to it.• They would meet in her flat - the weekend away was still talked about although not realized.• He was careful to stress that he was talking about public ethics, not private ethics.• Are we talking about months or years?• He suggests we talk about the witnesses.just/only talk• I have really almost given up trying to discuss their poems, and just talk about poetry.• At school, you feel like your teachers are just talking at you.• There was no business, just talk, and talk was cheap.• I can only talk to other computers when they are within my range.• One can only talk with conviction to one's peers.• He should not just talk, but should act too.• I was only talking to myself.• Williams will only talk through his press office.fighting talk• It sounds like good fighting talk but, beyond the active birth arena, I wonder how accurate a picture it represents.• Where I come from that's fighting talk.• Today in the 1980s many Christians don't like this fighting talk.Origin talk1 (1200-1300) Probably from Old English talian “to count, consider, tell”