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Should You Say Converse Or Conversate?

What Do Converse And Conversate Mean?

Converse is a standard verb that acts in English to mean the act of having a conversation. In contrast, conversate is a nonstandard verb that means to have a conversation. 

We may often wonder which of these words we should use in our writing, especially if we are writing in a more formal sense. In most cases, converse is the “correct” form of the word and should especially be used in formal settings, whereas conversate is simple nonstandard, and can get confusing. 

Is Conversate A Word? 

As mentioned, conversate means that you are having a conversation. It is a quasi version of conversation which is used as a verb. The process of creating nonstandard words from common words is called back-formation. Even though many people use it, conversate is still not standard/not supported, so you should probably avoid it for all formal writing purposes. 

Going on, there has been a history of nonstandard words becoming standard. For instance, alot was once a nonstandard word; however, it gained popularity and has become widespread in English writing over time. Similarly, conversate is currently nonstandard. However, it could easily gain more popularity and become more standard. 

Using Converse And Conversate 

As the standard form, the converse can be easily used in many sentences and is the dominant form of the word in formal writing. For instance: 

  • When I converse with him, I understand what he is saying
  • Marus and Dan have been conversing about fixing up the camper 
  • Charles was conversing with Mary about scheduling issues 

You can also still find some writing. However, that uses conversate instead. It is a nonstandard verb that can stand in for converse in this form. For instance:

  • I wish to conversate with you later about the state of the firm 
  • Jack and Jill conversated about Biology for a while 
  • Charles and Mary conversated after the show 


The sum up, converse is the more “correct” and formal verb form of conversation, while conversate is the more nonstandard version. With this, you can find examples of both in lots of popular English writing. Even though there are some discrepancies now, there is some possibility for conversate to gain more popularity over time and become popular. In the end, most people won’t argue with you on the differences between these words. However, it is still fun to know! 

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By Ryan Fisher

Ryan holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and specializes in proofreading, editing, and content writing with an emphasis on business communication.

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