What is the difference between Say and Tell? - ProProfs Discuss
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What is the difference between Say and Tell?

Asked by Isa , Last updated: Jun 26, 2020

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M. Delilah

M. Delilah

Answered Jun 26, 2020

“Say” and “Tell” are two English words that are used interchangeably; they are both irregular verbs. However, there is a difference between these two words. The word “Say” is not used with a direct object, it is used to express opinions indirectly, and it could be yours or others. For example, she said she loves the red dress. It can also be used to report speech.

For example, I said (past tense of say) I would be running late. It is also used to express direct speech. While tell is used with a direct personal object. For example, I always tell the truth. It is also used to report speech. For example, they did not tell me about the trip. It is also used to quote instructions. For example, He said, “Go and never return.”

 

E.Evelyn

E.Evelyn

Answered May 28, 2020

Say and tell are normally two words that people interchange because they seem to be similar. You should know that they have some differences too. For example, when you use the word “say,” this means that you need to focus on the content itself.

You need to focus on what actually the person has stated. When you say “tell,” this may sometimes be used when you are trying to make someone say something to another person. For example, you would like to pass on a message from you to another person through a third party. You will say, “Tell her that I miss her.” You cannot say, “Say her that I miss her.” That will be grammatically wrong.

 

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