'Familiar With' or 'Familiar To'? Which One Is Correct? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 30 January 2024)

Familiar With or Familiar To: Which One Is Correct?

Familiar with is used when referring to someone being acquainted with or having experience in something:

I am familiar with the new software.

✅ Are you familiar with the rules of the game?

✅ Chris is not familiar with the local customs and traditions.

Tony and I are familiar with the city's public transport system.

Familiar to is used when referring to something being recognisable or known to someone:

The melody of that song is familiar to me.

The concept of recycling is familiar to most people.

The scientific theory is not familiar to the general public.

Is the name familiar to you?

The easiest way to work out whether it is familiar with or familiar to is to remember the patterns someone is familiar with something and something is familiar to someone.

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Examples from the Media

Are you familiar with this view? Well, if you're not then you haven't driven in a major British city recently. The Guardian (2002)

As the cost of living continues to rise, experts familiar with consumer behaviour and the restaurant industry warn that people feeling the pinch from climbing service fees are starting to pull back their discretionary spending, particularly when choosing to order in. —Toronto Star (2023)

A few months before embarking in late November 1978 on the journey to Sydney to assume the role of director of the Art Gallery of NSW, a friend in London held a farewell party, attended by one of the two Australian artists whose names were familiar to me. —The Sydney Morning Herald (2013)

Newly discovered records of the city coroner going back to 1784 draw a grim picture of deadly violence and drug abuse familiar to New Yorkers nearly two centuries later. —The New York Times (1974)


Choose the correct preposition to complete each sentence.

1. As a wildlife researcher, I have spent years studying tigers and their behaviour, so they have become quite familiar with/to me.

2. Violence and crime are all too familiar with/to police officers.

3. Lucy is familiar with/to the local area and can recommend the best restaurants and attractions.

4. We need someone who is familiar with/to coding languages like Python and Java for this project.

5. The scent of the ocean was familiar with/to him, as he grew up in a coastal town.

6. The teacher is familiar with/to the curriculum and has prepared engaging lesson plans.

7. The iconic statue is familiar with/to tourists.

Answer Key

1. to    2. to    3. with    4. with    5. to    6. with    7. to

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