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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Say or Tell in Reported Speech

Say or Tell?

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
You say somethingYou tell someone something
Ram said that he was tired.Ram told Jane that he was tired.
Anthony says you have a new job.Anthony tells me you have a new job.
Tara said: "I love you."Tara told John that she loved him.
But, of course, it is not always so easy. Here are a few rules to help you.
Personal object
  • We usually follow tell with a personal object = Indirect object (the person that we are speaking to). 
  • We usually use say without a personal object:

  • She told me that she loved John.
  • She said that she loved John.
  • He told everybody that he had to leave.
  • He said that he had to leave.


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