Thursday, 25 June 2015

Lesson 6 – ‘SAY’ AND ‘TELL’

In our today’s lesson we are going to review the differences between ‘tell’ and ‘say’. 

The best way to remember how we use these verbs is learning the following sentence:
We tell somebody something   and   we say something to somebody.

For example:

TELL: I told my mother I was studying (tell+somebody+something=clause) 
Tell  = I told
Somebody = my mother
Something = I was studying.

 ‘Tell’ could be followed by ‘someone’ (noun or pronoun). E.g.:
1.       I tell you I have nothing to do with that.

SAY: I said to your parents that I was going away (say+to somebody+something)
Say = I said
To somebody = to your parents
Something = that I was going away.

Say’ can be followed by ‘to someone’ or by ‘something’ (clause). E.g.:
1.       I said to my teacher that I was tired (say + to someone + something).
2.       I said that I was tired (say + something).

COLLOCATIONS WITH TELL: The following expressions always use tell: 
Tell a story / Tell the truth / Tell a lie / Tell the time
We use tell for giving instructions or advice (Tell someone to do something). E.g.:  
1.       The teachers told the students to come earlier.

Now try to do the following exercise. You can find the correct answers at the bottom of this page.

Exercise 1.
      Write the correct form of ‘tell’ or ‘say’:   
       1.    Could you ________ me what the next stop is? 
       2.       He _______ he had never been in my country. 
       3.       Let me _______ him a couple of things about his behaviour. 
       4.       I need to _______ goodbye to your parents. 
       5.       The main character ______: “That’s all folks”. 
       6.       Your grandma _______ to me that she was ill. 
       7.       They ______ us to come back later. 
       8.       Don’t _____ me what to do. 
       9.       _____ them that extraordinary story.

 Exercise 2.
1. We usually use say/tell something to someone.
2. We usually use say/tell to someone something.
3. We usually use say/tell to give advice or instructions.

Exercise 1. Correct answers:
1. Tell
2. Said
3. Tell
4. Say
5. Said
6. Said
7. Told
8. Tell
9. Tell

Exercise 2. Correct answers:
1. Say
2. Tell
3. Tell

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