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Common errors > date (somebody)  verb, transitive / intransitiv

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Incorrect or non-standard usage, overuse etc.

I am dating my colleagues after work tonight.
I date my boyfriend on Sunday afternoon.

The problem

The verb 'to date' (someone) is only used to describe a relationship i.e. to say that two people are a couple - are boyfried and girlfriend. It is not used as a romantic form of 'meet'.

Mike and I have been dating for a couple of months.
(He has been my boyfriend for two months.)

She's dating a guy in her class. (Her classmate is her boyfriend)

I don't think he's dating anybody at the moment. (He hasn't got a girlfriend).

Note This verb is more commonly used in American than British English.
To go out with someone is more popular in British English:

They've been going out for about six months now.
I don't think she's going out with anyone at the moment.

You can also use 'to see' someone in this situation:
Is she seeing anyone at the moment?

To describe appointments whether they are romantic or not, we use the verb 'meet'.
I usually meet my boyfriend after work for dinner. (romantic)
I'm meeting some friends for a drink this evening. (not romantic)

to have a date. This usually has a romantic meeting:

Wow, you look nice today!
Oh thanks. I've got a date tonight, actually.
Oh really? Who with?

The romatic sense of having a date is not true for making a date:

Colleague 1: We need to meet up to discuss the publication schedule.
Colleague 2: Right. Let's make a date. I'm free Thursday afternoon if that's any good.

Standard English

I am meeting my colleagues after work tonight.
I meet my boyfriend on Sunday afternoon.


Online dictionary links are available for the following words:

Head word Part of speech Mac Cam Dic
Wik Save
date verb MacCantabDictWiktAdd

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