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Thread: tell vs tell of

  1. #1
    layla0302 is offline Member
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    tell vs tell of

    What is the difference between tell and tell of?

    example : He told me his childhood story
    He told me of his childhood story

    Also, I have learned that tell is an transitive verb, it is find that it is used as an intransitive verb, sometimes.
    Could you explain about this please?

    ex : he told of his childhood story

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: tell vs tell of

    Quote Originally Posted by layla0302 View Post
    What is the difference between tell and tell of?

    example : He told me his childhood story
    He told me of his childhood story

    Also, I have learned that tell is an transitive verb, it is find that it is used as an intransitive verb, sometimes.
    Could you explain about this please?

    ex : he told of his childhood story
    Any dictionary will tell you that 'tell' can be either transitive or intransitive. Here's one:
    tell - definition of tell by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    1. "I tell you my secret."
    2. "I tell you of my secret."

    1. means that I tell you what my secret is. You know my secret.
    2. means that I tell you that I have a secret. You know that I have a secret, but you don't know what it is.

  3. #3
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Re: tell vs tell of

    I agree with the example Ray gave for "secret" but I don't think that works for "story."

    I can tell you a story. I can tell you a story about my childhood. I can tell you of my childhood.
    But I don't think you can tell OF a story. (Unless the story is the thing people are talking about.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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