"He speaks to them."
Translation:Hij spreekt tegen hen.
Would "tegen" indicate that he is speaking to them in a disciplinary way? It also says that it would have accepted "Hij spreekt met hen." Would that indicate a more cooperative speaking to?
No it has nothing to do with what or how it is said, but when using tegen there is no immediate verbal reply (yet), when using met there always is two-way communication. So:
- Ik praat tegen je (I'm talking to you. This is usually said to ask somebody to pay attention)
- Ik praat met je (We're having a conversation)
- De leraar praat tegen de klas (The teacher is talking to the class)
- De leraar praat met de klas (The teacher is having a conversation with the class)