Say or tell?
When do we use say and when do we use tell?
|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.