you're reading...
This or That?

‘Say’ or ‘tell’?

We use tell with an object (i.e., who is to be told):

  •    Can you tell me where he has gone?

Also, we use tell to mean to instruct or to inform:

  • I told her to wait at home until I get there. (instructing)
  • He told us about his experiences of teaching English in a foreign country. (informing)

Say can be used for any kind of talking, and does not generally need an object (i.e., you do not need to indicate who is being told):

  • She said she might drop in for a few hours this weekend.
  • Can you please say that again?

If you use an object after say, you must use to with the object:

  • He said goodbye to his children and walked out the door without turning back.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 28 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: