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Saeid Estiri
tell or say? i wanna know what the difference is between tell and say? for example is it a must to use "tell" instead of "say to" when we turn a direct into an indirect speech like this: i said to him: Don't do that = i told him not to do that i mean is it grammatically necessary to use "tell" in the second sentence or we can say " i said to him not to do that". is there something wrong with this sentence?
Jun 14, 2013 3:28 PM
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Answers · 6
To 'tell' something is to give a piece of information or an instruction. Ex. I will tell you how to... I told you to walk over there. To 'say' is to either say exactly that or to paraphrase it. If that doesn't make sense, saying what someone 'said' in the past is almost the same as quoting the, Ex. I said, "walk over there." I said that you should walk over there. "I said to him not to do that" is technically correct, but it's better as "I said to him that he should not do that."
June 14, 2013
You can't say " I said to him not to do that.", it does have to be "I told him not to do that." When you do use said, remember to use quotation marks ".." around what is being quoted. I said to him, "Don't do that."
June 14, 2013
it's not a must....both "say to" and "tell" are ok, but I think they are slightly different. tell emphasizes more on giving information while say to is just saying something with an object. so tell can have two objects: tell sb. sth.. while say to can only be followed by sb.
June 14, 2013
'Tell' needs a recipient. I'm telling you, I told them, I keep telling myself, for example. But I can 'say' anything to no one in particular.
June 14, 2013
Saeid Estiri
Language Skills
English, Persian (Farsi)
Learning Language
English