Say or tell?

When do we use say and when do we use tell?

Tell, say
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.

For a further explanation of say/tell differences, see Stuart’s article Confusing words: say, tell

Practise speak and talk grammar practice exercise.

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