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English Language
Grammar

Is it correct saying nice speaking to you After a conversation?

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October 07, 2013 1:48AM

It is correct to say "Nice speaking to you" after a conversation. "Nice talking with you" is also okay, and perhaps slightly more idiomatic.

The expression is short for "It was nice speaking to you", and this, in turn, comes from "Speaking to you was nice" by the grammatical process of extraposition, which substitutes "it" for a complicated sentence subject and moves the original subject to the end.

That is to say, we begin with a subject "speaking to you" of the predicate "was nice", and moving the subject to the end gives "was nice speaking to you". Then, to fulfill the requirement in English that sentences must have subjects, the new subject "it" is supplied, giving "It was nice speaking to you", and finally, "it was" is omitted.

The original subject "speaking to you" is a nominalization of the sentence "I speak to you". A more explicit form would be "my speaking to you", and that version makes it clearer that this construction is a 'possessive plus -ing' nominalization, which is standard and very frequent in English. To convert a sentence into a noun phrase, the subject of the sentence is made into a possessive (here "my") going with the noun form of the sentence's main verb (here, gerund "speaking" derived from "speak").