A common point of confusion is the fact that certain words in English can be used to convey similar yet slightly different meanings. Such is the case with using “meet” vs “met”, the different forms of the verb, and which one you should use when talking about meeting someone.
You use “I happen to have met him” when talking in the simple past, and emphasizing that the past action was the meeting. You use “I happened to meet him” instead when talking about how the “happening” itself was in the past.
In regular use, “to meet” is the regular form of the verb that you’d use when talking in the present, and “met” is instead the past version that you’d use to talk about past instances.
However, as you can tell with this situation, there are ways to phrase sentences that are in the past but use “meet” instead of “met”, like with “I happened to meet him”.
Ultimately, you should just use whatever word is the most appropriate for the sentence that you’re trying to build, and it can be either “meet” or “met”.
“Meet” is the regular form of the verb, which means that it’s the form you’ll be using for the simple present sentences. Beyond this, you may also use “meet” in sentences that are set in the past, but where the structure means that “meet” can stay in its regular form.
Someone who is only just learning English will probably use “meet” a lot of the time, given the fact that it’s the standard, simple form of the verb.
You may also use “meet” in combination with the word “will”, to talk about the future. This means that the word “meet” on its own is incredibly useful to talk about distinct time periods.
Here are a few examples that will show you how to use “meet” in a sentence without any issues at all:
- I’m going to meet all of them after we’ve finished lunch, and we’ll get it done.
- I meet him, then he meets you, then you meet her, and it’s all one big chain of meetings.
- I happened to meet her at the shopping mall the other day, by complete coincidence, in the store.
- We want to meet to discuss what occurred at the party last week, and what to do about it.
- He’s going to meet with a lot of very important people, so this could be huge for our family.
- She will meet him at the entrance and lead him to this room, in which we’ll surprise him.
- He’s going to meet me at the airport, and we’ll drive down from there to the apartment.
The word “met” is the past-tense of the verb “to meet”, and should only be used in sentences where the context is that something occurred in the past. However, “met” still has a lot of variety in how it can be used, allowing for first-person, second-person, singular and plural perspectives.
When you use “met”, you’re basically letting the other person know that you’re talking about a meeting that happened in the past and is not happening anymore in the present moment.
Using “met” can either mean you’re talking about a meeting that occurred in the past, but it can also refer to meeting someone for the first time, which only happens once, of course.
Here are some example sentences that will show you how to use “met” in a sentence with no issues:
- I have met with her in the past and it went perfectly well, so I’m confused as to her attitude.
- We met about a year ago, and we have been dating for a few months, it’s been really nice.
- He met her years ago but they have stayed good friends, and they see each other a lot.
- She met all of them at the party last night and I think they got along pretty well, thank God.
- They met up at the park and now they are going to do some activities before continuing.
- He met me years ago but when I saw him the other week he didn’t seem to recognize me at all.
- I met that guy at a convention over five years ago and he was really sweet and kind to me.
The correct phrasing is “Have you met”. This is because when you use “have you”, you’re already asking about something that has taken place in the past. Therefore, when you use “have you” it has to be followed by “met”.
A similar phrase that does use “meet” instead of “met” when talking about the past is “did you meet”, which works because if it wasn’t phrased as a question, it would be “I did meet”.
Here are a couple of examples of each phrasing, correct and incorrect:
- Correct: Have you met them already?
- Incorrect: Have you meet them at the airport?
Both “meet someone” and “met someone” are valid, just in different contexts. You’d use “meet someone” when talking about the future, while you would use “met someone” when talking about the past.
Therefore, both of these word combinations are valid, as long as you’re aware of what tense you’re using in what specific context.
Here are two examples that showcase both proper uses: