# Talking to 'people'

I can’t seem to get my character to talk to George Lucas. I typed the following:

Before talking to George Lucas:
say “text here.”

For some reason it didn’t like the ‘before talking to’ part…?

Have you defined the “talking to” action? It’s not there by default. Only asking and telling are in the standard library.

You’ll need something like this.

``Talking to is an action applying to one thing. Understand "Talk to [something]" as talking.``

Hope this helps.

Should the code not have been ``` Talking to is an action applying to one thing. Understand "Talk to [something]" as talking to. ```? I inquire as I seem to recall having seen examples where [verb]ing and [verb]ing to/at/on/etc. were defined differently, not because I’m certain you’ve erred.

Strictly speaking (and to prevent potential confusion in case you expand the code later on), yes. But Inform 7 is very lenient about allowing you to refer to a multi-word name with fewer words, and so as long as there are no other actions containing the word “talking” (as there are not in the standard rules), your and climbingstars’ code are equivalent.

The Standard Rules define the listening action in a similar way.

In fact, Inform pretty much considers “listening” and “listening to” to be the same action, so you wouldn’t be able to define this action.

``Listening is an action applying to one thing.``

You could even define an action like this.

``Combining is an action applying to two things.``

However, this is bad practice and is best avoided in favour of something like this.

``Combining it with is an action applying to two things.``

Hope this helps.

That’s true. But I’m mystified.
After all, even though the Standard Rules define a jumping action and a switching on action (and a switching off one), both of these compile:[code]
Jumping at is an action applying to one thing.
Understand “jump at [something]” as jumping at.
Report jumping at: say “GERONIMO!”

Switching is an action applying to one thing.
Understand the command “switch” as something new.
Understand “switch [something]” as switching.
Report switching: say “You expertly switch [the noun].”
[/code]whereas this doesn’t:``` Listening is an action applying to one thing. Understand the command "listen" as something new. Understand "listen [something]" as listening. Report listening: say "You listen in awe to [the noun]." ```
What difference is there?