W1S1 [spi:k] v past tense spoke [spəuk US spouk] past participle spoken [ˈspəukən US ˈspou-]
1¦(in conversation)¦
2¦(say words)¦
4¦(formal speech)¦
5¦(express ideas/opinions)¦
6 so to speak
7 speak your mind
8 be not speaking/not be on speaking terms
9 speak volumes (about/for something)
10 speak with one voice
11 speak the same language
12 speak out of turn
Phrasal verbs
 speak for somebody/something
 speak of something
 speak out
 speak to somebody/something
 speak up
[: Old English; Origin: sprecan, specan]
1.) ¦(IN CONVERSATION)¦ [I always + adverb/preposition]
to talk to someone about something
speak to
I spoke to her last Wednesday.
'Hello, may I speak to Jim Smith?' 'Yes, speaking' (=used on the telephone) .
I know her by sight, but not to speak to (=not well enough to talk to her) .
speak to sb about sth
I haven't spoken to Steve about all this.
speak with
especially AmE
They did not want to speak with reporters.
speak of
It was the first time she had ever spoken of marriage.
2.) ¦(SAY WORDS)¦
to use your voice to produce words
I was so shocked I couldn't speak.
He spoke very softly (=quietly) .
3.) ¦(LANGUAGE)¦ [T not in progressive]
to be able to talk in a particular language
Do you speak English?
I don't speak a word of French (=do not speak any French at all) .
can/can't speak sth
Several children in the class cannot speak English.
French-speaking/Italian-speaking etc
a German-speaking secretary
to make a formal speech
speak at
Jones spoke at the teachers' annual convention.
speak to
She asked me to speak to her students about my work in marketing.
speak in favour of/against
Only one MP spoke against the bill.
5.) ¦(EXPRESS IDEAS/OPINIONS)¦ [I always + adverb/preposition]
to say something that expresses your ideas or opinions
speak as a parent/teacher/democrat etc
He emphasized that he was speaking as a private citizen, not in any official capacity.
speak well/highly/ill of sb
(=say good or bad things about someone)
Her co-workers spoke highly of her.
It's wrong to speak ill of the dead.
strictly/generally/roughly speaking
(=used when expressing an idea that you think is exactly true, generally true etc)
Strictly speaking, it's my money, not yours. I earned it.
6.) so to speak
used when you are saying something in words that do not have their usual meaning
We have to pull down the barriers, so to speak, of poverty.
7.) speak your mind
to tell people exactly what you think, even if it offends them
He was a tough politician who wasn't afraid to speak his mind.
8.) be not speaking/not be on speaking terms
if two people are not speaking, they do not talk to each other, usually because they have argued
He was not on speaking terms with his brother or sisters.
9.) speak volumes (about/for sth)
if something speaks volumes, it clearly shows the nature of something or the feelings of a person
What you wear speaks volumes about you.
10.) speak with one voice
if a group of people speak with one voice, they all express the same opinion
On this issue, the 12 organizations spoke with one voice.
11.) speak the same language
if two people or groups speak the same language, they have similar attitudes and opinions
12.) speak out of turn
to say something when you do not have the right or authority to say it
actions speak louder than words [i]ataction1 (13)
the facts speak for themselves atfact
in a manner of speaking atmanner
speak for / [speak for sb/sth] phr v
1.) to express the feelings, thoughts, or beliefs of a person or group of people
Dan, speaking for the students, started the meeting.
2.) speak for yourself
spoken used to tell someone that you do not have the same opinion as they do, or that something that is true for them is not true for you
'We don't want to go.' 'Speak for yourself!'
3.) be spoken for
if something or someone is spoken for, they have already been promised to someone else
They're all either married or spoken for.
4.) speak for itself/themselves
to show something very clearly
The results speak for themselves.
speak of [speak of sth] phr v
1.) literary to show clearly that something happened or exists
Her skin spoke of warm summer days spent in the sun.
2.) no ... to speak of also none/nothing to speak of
very little of something or a very small thing
There's been no rain to speak of for several months.
The house had no garden to speak of.
speak out phr v
to publicly speak in protest about something, especially when protesting could be dangerous
speak out about/against
Five students who had spoken out against the regime were arrested.
speak to / [speak to sb/sth] phr v
1.) to talk to someone who has done something wrong and tell them not to do it again
Joe was late again today. You'll have to speak to him.
2.) if something such as a poem, painting, or piece of music speaks to you, you like it because it expresses a particular meaning, quality, or feeling to you
Modern art just doesn't speak to me.
speak up phr v
1.) used to ask someone to speak louder
Could you speak up, please?
2.) to say something, especially to express your opinion
There was a brief silence, then Gerald spoke up.
3.) speak up for sb
to speak in support of someone
He is willing to speak up for the rights of women.
WORD CHOICE: speak, talk
When one person is saying things, you can use talk or speak , but talk is more usual and speak slightly literary : She talked about her job. | He spoke longingly of his home country. | Don't interrupt me when I'm talking/speaking.
If people are having a conversation, always use talk : We talked about our relationship. |They talked for hours.
If you say that two people are not speaking , you mean they are not willing to talk to each other : They've had a row and they're not speaking.
Someone who can talk has learned to use language : She could talk before she was two.
If you can speak , you are able to say something on a particular occasion : I was too scared to speak.
!! When you mention what language someone uses, always use speak : She speaks(=knows how to use) French and Spanish. | We spoke in German at first, then English.
!! When you ask for someone on the telephone, use speak : Can I speak to Clare?
!! You can speak words . Do not use talk : I spoke the words as clearly as I could.
!! You can talk sense or talk nonsense . Do not use speak : I think she talks a lot of sense.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • speak — [ spik ] (past tense spoke [ spouk ] ; past participle spo|ken [ spoukən ] ) verb *** ▸ 1 talk about something or to someone ▸ 2 use voice to talk ▸ 3 talk particular language ▸ 4 give formal speech ▸ 5 express ideas/thoughts ▸ 6 talk on… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Speak — Ст …   Википедия

  • Speak — Speak, v. i. [imp. {Spoke}({Spake}Archaic); p. p. {Spoken}({Spoke}, Obs. or Colloq.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Speaking}.] [OE. speken, AS. specan, sprecan; akin to OF.ries. spreka, D. spreken, OS. spreken, G. sprechen, OHG. sprehhan, and perhaps to Skr …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • speak — [spēk] vi. spoke, spoken, speaking [ME speken < OE specan, earlier sprecan, akin to Ger sprechen < IE base * sp(h)er(e) g , to strew, sprinkle > SPARK1, L spargere, to sprinkle: basic sense “to scatter (words)”] 1. to utter words with… …   English World dictionary

  • Speak — can mean: * Speech communication * SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids), a Maryland based organization for suicide prevention * Speak (artist), the Hungarian rap artist and internet phenomenon famous for his anti war video *… …   Wikipedia

  • speak — ► VERB (past spoke; past part. spoken) 1) say something. 2) (speak to) talk to in order to advise, pass on information, etc. 3) communicate in or be able to communicate in (a specified language). 4) (speak for) express the views or position of …   English terms dictionary

  • Speak — Speak, v. t. 1. To utter with the mouth; to pronounce; to utter articulately, as human beings. [1913 Webster] They sat down with him upn ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him. Job. ii. 13. [1913 Webster] 2. To utter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • speak of — ˈspeak of [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they speak of he/she/it speaks of present participle speaking of past tense spoke of …   Useful english dictionary

  • speak — (v.) O.E. specan, variant of sprecan to speak (class V strong verb; past tense spræc, pp. sprecen), from P.Gmc. *sprekanan (Cf. O.S. sprecan, O.Fris. spreka, M.Du. spreken, O.H.G. sprehhan, Ger. sprechen to speak, O.N. spraki rumor …   Etymology dictionary

  • speak — speak, talk, converse can all mean to articulate words so as to express one s thoughts. Speak is, in general, the broad term and may refer to utterances of any kind, however coherent or however broken or disconnected, and with or without… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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