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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #106029: To say / to tell ...
    > Other English exercises on the same topics: Frequent mistakes | Synonyms [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Placement test beginners: Check your spelling - Past simple or present perfect - Although / in spite of / despite - Differences between Like and As - Again/ back - FOR and its use - Do or Make? - 13 ways of seeing
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    To say / to tell ...


       TO SAY ?                    TO TELL ?


     The two verbs imply a 'communication between people' ; they are both irregular verbs ( to say, I said [sed], said) - (to tell, I told, told). As soon as you start learning English, you need them, and you learn them  ! Yet, years later, you still happen to use one for the other ! Let's clear these hesitations ...

     1) To SAY :

     - Is used to introduce quotes : these words form  the Predicate (or direct object) of the verb 'say' : ex : Jeffrey said : ‘I’m hungry … I’m even starving …’

     It's used in Indirect Speech too forming  a subordinate introduced by  that : ex : Jeffrey said that he was hungry, and even starving. 

     - If a personal complement is used after say, the preposition to must be used : ex: Baby Jane said thank you to her mother, who smiled ! 

     - Most French kids know the game : 'Jacques a dit' ... In English, it exists too and is named : 'Simon says [sez] ' ....( 'Simon' gives instructions to a group :  'Raise your hand !' or 'Jump in the air', 'Simon says, applaud !' and the players should only obey the instruction if the order starts with : 'Simon says ...'. The players who've made a mistake are out till there's only one 'Simon' left !)

    2) To TELL :

    1) = to say BUT  ‘Tell’ mentions the person you're speaking to  as personal object  :

    ex : Jeffrey told us (= personal object) (that) we were late.

               The second complement may be :

          - a  noun : Jeffrey told us important news.

    - a subordinate Jeffrey told us that we were lucky.(= told that = informed)

          - an infinitive He told us to wait for him. ( = told to = ordered)

          - an indirect interrogative clause :   the word order : He told us what time it was.

         2) Relating facts :  To tell a story ;Tell me the truth !  ; To tell a lie ; Tell me about it ; To tell jokes ! ; To tell a secret ...


    Now you're ready to face the exercise ... Go for it !

    What are they saying ... ?





    ... and telling people ?




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    English exercise "To say / to tell ..." created by here4u with The test builder. [More lessons & exercises from here4u]
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    'What the policeman ? I couldn't hear you well ?'
    'Well ! I that I was French and lost ... 'And what then ?' 'He that I didn't look lost. The policeman he didn't believe me. He I should drive more carefully in the future. He that many accidents were caused by last minute turnings without indicators ...' I I was really lost and didn't know where to go. .' I was going very slowly and wasn't dangerous.' 'He I should have put my indicator before turning.' 'When I was really lost, I that next time, I'd stop my car and ask for directions.' 'I I was sorry and that I would buy a GPS ! He laughed, and that lies wasn't very nice ! I laughed and thank you to him ! I knew policemen were very nice in England !'

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