Making sure we use the right prepositions after words is an important stepping-stone in learning English. We’ll go through the differences between using “connect with” and “connect to” in this article.
What Is The Difference Between “Connect With” And “Connect To”?
Connect to should be used when talking about a physical object being linked to another thing (i.e., the computer was connected to the printer). Connect with should be used when talking about non-physical links between objects and people (i.e., they were connected with each other).
Is “Connect With” Or “Connect To” Used The Most?
While the two phrases have slightly different meanings, that doesn’t stop most English speakers from using them interchangeably. Still, it’s important to understand the difference between the two.
If you look at this graph, you’ll see how the two phrases have been used throughout history. “Connect with” has usually always been the most popular of the two because it talks about a connection between two things that doesn’t have to be a physical input.
However, there was a time during the 1990s where “connect to” was the more popular of the two. The most likely reason for this brief switch in popularity is because that’s when the internet really kicked off, and more people started connecting physical machines to other outlets.
7 Examples Of How To Use “Connect With” In A Sentence
Let’s go through some examples of using both words in a sentence. You’ll start to notice the difference between the two when we share some of these with you.
- He wanted to connect with his audience.
- They have a deep connection with each other.
- We need to connect with him if we want him to talk.
- You should connect with me on a more personal level.
- When do we connect with the tour group again?
- They connected with each other as soon as they arrived.
- He connects with his family on a deep and personal level.
From these examples, we can see that “connect with” often talks about an intangible connection between things and people. Generally, we use “connect with” when we’re talking about a connection between two or more people, rather than worrying too much about objects.
7 Examples Of How To Use “Connect To” In A Sentence
Now let’s see when “connect to” is more reasonable to use. We use “to” as the preposition when we’re physically connecting one item to another item. Usually, it’s by using a plug or wire that connects them.
- The printer is connected to the laptop.
- This machine needs to connect to that server.
- Can you connect these two appliances to each other?
- My computer is connected to the Wi-Fi.
- You should connect to the internet when you get a chance.
- Have you connected the TV to the mains?
- They connect machines to other machines for a living. I don’t understand their job.
Generally, we use “connect to” when talking about a physical connection between two objects (mostly machines). The connection we refer to usually requires some form of electrical component, which is why it’s so common to talk about it in this way.
Also, we can always write an object in-between “connect” and “to” if it makes sense for the context at the time. For example, “connect the machine to the server” shows that “the machine” can come between the two words, but the impact of the meaning stays the same.
Connect With/To – Synonyms
We find that synonyms and alternative words help us to familiarize ourselves with newer words and phrases. That’s why we put together a list of some of the best synonyms for the two words.
This is usually best to replace “connect to” and talk about a physical connection (or attachment). However, we can also talk about emotional attachment as a form of “connect with.”
When we join two or more things together, we’re connecting them in a similar way to the other two phrases we’ve looked at through the article.
“Link” is synonymous with “join” and “connect,” making it an excellent alternative. However, we usually “link” physical things, making them best suited to replace “connect to.”
Which Other Prepositions Can Be Used After “Connect”?
There are a few other prepositions we can use with “connect,” too. These are “connect by”, “connect at”, and “connect through”.
- They are connected by family.
“Connect by” means that something specifically connects two (or more) things.
- They were meant to connect at the train station.
“Connect at” means that there was a specific destination where a connection needs to happen.
- They connect through Skype.
“Connect through” works when there’s a platform that is used to connect two (or more) people.
What Is The Difference Between “Connect” And “Connection”?
“Connect” is the verb form of the base word, while “connection” is a noun we use to say that two (or more) things managed to connect with each other.
Is It “In Connection To” Or “In Connection With”?
We can use both forms “in connection to” and “in connection with,” and many native speakers won’t note a difference between the two.
However, because we’re talking about a “connection” between two things that aren’t physical when we say it, “in connection with” is the most popular choice and is the most correct to use.
- In connection with the events earlier…
- In connection to the events earlier…
Both of these sentence starters are correct; however, it’s more common to see people write (and say) “in connection with” when they want to write about specific things that happened previously and connect their new information back to it.
Quiz: Have You Mastered The Connect With Or To Grammar?
Finally, let’s see how much you’ve learned and try out a quiz.
- The computer needs to (A. connect with / B. connect to) the internet.
- We have a deep (A. connection with / B. connection to) each other.
- We should (A. connect with / B. connect to) the family when we get back.
- Can you (A. connect with / B. connect to) the Wi-Fi and find out about the news?
- Make sure you (A. connect with / B. connect to) your audience during your speech.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.