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Bushra
Correct Usage Please explain correct usage of "Tell" and "Say". I always confuse between them.
Jun 10, 2015 9:45 AM
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Answers · 7
Bushra, the verbs say and tell have similar meanings. They both mean "to communicate verbally with someone". But we often use them differently. The simple way to think of say and tell is: - You say something - You tell someone something But, of course, it is not always so easy. Here are a few rules to help you. 1. Say "to someone" With say, we sometimes use "to someone": - He said to me that he was tired. - Tara said to Ram that he had done very well. - Anthony said to her, "I hope you come soon." - "I'd like to sleep," she said to him quietly. 2. Phrases Here are a few fixed phrases with tell. We cannot use say with these phrases: tell (someone) a story tell (someone) a lie tell (someone) the truth tell the future (= to know what the future will bring) tell the time (= know how to read a clock) 3. Direct speech We can use say with direct speech. We use tell only with direct speech that is an instruction or information: - Amanda said, "Hello John. How are you?" - "That's great," she said. - He told her: "Open the door quietly." - She told me, "I have never been to England."
June 10, 2015
'tell' very often means the same as 'say to' : 'I told her that I would be going there' ; 'I said to her that I would be going there'. 'I told her that she should see the doctor' ; 'I said to her that she should see the doctor' 'I told them that they should go home' ; 'I said to them that they should go home' 'I told my mother that I was going to school' : 'I said to my mother that I was going to school' 'She told her father that she wanted to go to medical school' ; 'She said to her father that she wanted to go to medical school' In cases where 'tell' is followed by 'about' something, you cannot use 'say to' : 'I told her about it' ; 'I told them about what I had seen' ; 'She told her father about wanting to go to medical school' 'Tell' is often used to give an instruction, when 'tell' or 'told' is followed by an infinitive [verb] : 'I told her to tidy up her room' . In this case, the words 'that they should' are implied and will have to be used instead of 'to' in the infinitive in the sentence if 'tell' is replaced by 'say to' : 'I told her that she should tidy up her room' ; 'I said to her that she should tidy up her room' 'Tell her to tidy up her room' ; 'Tell her that she should tidy up her room' ; 'Say to her that she should tidy up her room' 'I told them to go upstairs' ; 'I told them that they should go upstairs' ; 'I said to them that they should go upstairs' 'We told them to leave us alone' : 'We told them that they should leave us alone' ; 'We said to them that they should leave us alone'
June 10, 2015
They're both extremely similar. Past tense Example: I said I was short. Past tense Example: I told them I was short. Present tense example: I say too many negative things. Present tense example: Tell me your name. Future tense example: I will say it when I mean it. Future tense example: I will tell you my name when you tell me yours. Hope this kinda helps.
June 10, 2015
Bushra
Language Skills
Balochi, English, Sindhi, Urdu
Learning Language
English