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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #96546: Say or Tell
Say or Tell
Both verbs say and tell have similar meanings -to communicate with someone, although they are used differently.
Generally, their use can be expressed as follows:
You say something.
You tell someone something.
You say something to someone .
She said that she was feeling well. – not defined to whom has been spoken.
She told him that she was feeling well. – the person to whom has been spoken is defined (“told him”)
She said to him: 'I am not feeling well.' – the person to whom has been spoken is defined (“said to him”)
When an order or a piece of advice is given, we use tell:
Ex: Tell Nadya to turn off this TV.
He told me not to worry.
Some phrases are used only with tell:
Tell (someone) a story.
Tell (someone) a lie.
Tell (someone) the truth.
Tell the future (to foretell).
Tell the time (He told me it was 4 o'clock).
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