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  1. #1
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    meaning of "tell"

    Dear teachers,

    Here is a text where the meaning of "tell" changes from its primary meaning:

    TEXT: The sentry at the gate presented arms. They drove on through and stopped for the military policeman inside. He looked at Larry's identification car and waved him through. "How could he tell me?" Larry asked. "Nobody ever looks like those pictures they take of you at the War department."

    If the word “tell” is correct here, does it mean “recognize (me)”? Would you please give other examples (contexts) where “tell” has this kind of meaning?

    Regards,
    Hela

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: meaning of "tell"

    It carries the meaning 'how could you tell it is me?'. It sounds a bit of an unusual usage to me. I wouldn't have used it and haven't come across it in British English, though can't say whether Americans use it.

  3. #3
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    Re: meaning of "tell"

    "How could he tell me?"
    I believe it's a typo. It should have been, "How could he tell it's me?"

    "Tell", here, means "be sure".

    Another example:-

    "It was dark out there and I couldn't really tell who it was creeping about."
    Last edited by Temico; 03-Oct-2005 at 12:49.

  4. #4
    hela is offline Senior Member
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    Re: meaning of "tell"

    Thanks to both of you.

    See you soon,
    Hela
    Last edited by hela; 03-Oct-2005 at 17:17.

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