Say Tell

Say Tell

Exercise -1

Difference Between


Difference Between “Say” and “Tell”

“Say” and “tell” are commonly used verbs in English that are used to communicate information or express speech. While they both involve communication, they have distinct differences in their usage and structure. Understanding the difference between “say” and “tell” is important for accurate and effective communication. In this section, we will explore the nuances of “say” and “tell” and provide examples to illustrate their proper usage.

  1. “Say”: “Say” is a verb used to report or convey spoken words or statements. It is often used without an object and followed directly by the reported speech. “Say” does not require a specific recipient of the information.

Example: She said, “I’ll be there at 8 o’clock.”

  1. “Tell”: “Tell” is a verb used to communicate or relay information to a specific person or audience. It requires an object, which can be the person being informed or the reported speech. “Tell” is followed by an indirect object (the recipient) and, optionally, a direct object (the reported speech).

Example: He told me that he would arrive late.

  1. Structure:

  • “Say” is typically used without an object and directly followed by the reported speech.
  • “Tell” requires an indirect object (the recipient) and, optionally, a direct object (the reported speech).


  • She said, “I love this book.”
  • She told me, “I love this book.”
  1. Reporting Speech:

  • “Say” is more commonly used when reporting general statements or information.
  • “Tell” is used when reporting specific instructions, commands, or personal conversations.


  • He said that it’s going to rain tomorrow. (General statement)
  • He told me to bring an umbrella. (Specific instruction)

Say and Tell

Conclusion: Understanding the difference between “say” and “tell” is important for clear and accurate communication. “Say” is used to report spoken words or statements, while “tell” is used to communicate information to a specific person or audience. Practice using these verbs in different contexts to strengthen your understanding and improve your English language proficiency.


Complete these sentences with say or tell.

1. Jack …….. me that he was enjoying his new job.
2. Tom …….. it was a nice restaurant but I didn’t like it much.
3. The doctor …….. that I would have to rest for at least a week.
4. Mrs. Taylor …….. us she wouldn’t be able to come to the next meeting.
5. Ann …….. Tom that she was going away.
6. George couldn’t help me. He …….. to ask Jack.
7. Jill …….. us all about her holiday in Australia.
8. Jane …….. him that she would meet us here.
9. Margaret …….. that she would call before she came.
10. Randy …….. a lot of jokes and funny stories.
11. I have …….. the truth.
12. The girls …….. that they were hungry.
13. Ann …….. goodbye to me and left.
14. …….. us about your holiday. Did you have a nice time?
15. I wonder where Sue is. She …….. she would be here at 8 o’clock.
16. Don’t …….. anybody what I …….. . It’s a secret just between us.


1.told 5. told 9. said 13. said
2. said 6. said 10.tells/told 14. tell
3. said 7. told 11. told 15. said
4. told 8. told 12. said 16. tell, said


Complete the sentences with the correct form of say or tell.

1. Did you …….. your brother the truth about that money?
2. What …….. you …….. to Wendy last night? She looks terribly upset this morning.
3. Is something wrong? Can you …….. me about it?
4. My little sister kept asking me …….. her a story but I couldn’t think of one.
5. If I asked you to marry me, what …….. (you)?
6. I never know what …….. to people when they pay me a compliment.
7. Don’t worry, I’m sure everything will go smoothly. Anyway, the manager …….. to call him if we had any problems.
8. I’ll never speak to him again after all the lies he …….. me last weekend.
9. If I were you, I …….. (not) anything to the police about your suspicions until you have more evidence.
10. Promise you …….. (not) anything to my parents. They’ll be furious if they find out what I’ve done.
11. I …….. (already) you, I don’t know where your diary is.
12. Please, …….. you’ll forgive me. I’m really sorry for all the trouble I’ve caused.
13. I’m ready to serve the meal. Can you …….. the children to go and wash their hands, please?


1.tell 4. to tell 7. told us/said 10. won’t say
2. did you say 5. would you say 8. told 11. have already told
3.tell 6. to say 9. wouldn’t say 12. tell me/say
13. tell



Sequence Of Tenses


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