Intermediate vocabulary exercise: tell, say, speak, talk
English vocabulary-building exercise for pre-intermediate / intermediate level.
In this exercise you will practise the difference between talk, speak, say and tell.
Instructions: Fill in the gap in the following sentences with talk, speak, say or tell in its correct form.
|We use: tell + somebody.||I told David about it.
Did you tell him?
He told me (that) he was ill.
|We use: say + clause.||She said she was ill.|
|We use: tell + clause when we include a pronoun such as me, him, us, etc.||She told me (that) she was ill.|
|We use: say + something + to somebody.||She said hello to me.|
|We use tell when we are giving facts or information:
tell somebody (that) ...
tell somebody something
tell somebody about something
tell somebody who/when/where.
|She told me (that) she was ill.
She told me the news.
Tell me about your new job.
He told me where it was.
|Speak and talk have similar meanings. They suggest that a person is using his or her voice, or that two or more people are having a discussion.|
speak to somebody (about something)
talk to somebody (about something)
|What are you talking about?
Who were you speaking to on the phone?
I was talking to Mark about cricket.
How old were you when you learned to speak?
|We say: speak a language
talk a languagetalk nonsense
|He speaks four languages.
Stop talking nonsense!
|Speak to and talk to are used more often than speak with and talk with.||I was talking to Tom yesterday.|
|Speak to is a little more formal than talk to, and is often used in polite requests.||[on the phone] Hello, could I speak to Mr Jones, please?|
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