SAY or TELL – Learn the difference

 

We use SAY for direct quotation. E.g.:

John said, “I am very busy.

Mary said to me, “I don’t feel well.”

 

We also use SAY for indirect quotation when the person to whom the words are said is NOT mentioned. E.g.:

John said that he was very busy.

They said it was time to go home.

 

We use TELL for indirect quotation when the person to whom the words are said IS mentioned. E.g.:

Mary told me that she didn’t feel well.

The teacher told us to study harder.

 

We also use TELL in the following special ways:

-to tell the truth

-to tell a lie

-to tell a story

-to tell about something

By: Sibilla

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