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Thread: speak vs say

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    #1

    speak vs say

    Hello,

    today I read this piece of poetry:

    For the bread, which you have broken,
    for the wine which you have poured,
    for the words which you have spoken,
    now we give you thanks, O Lord.
    ... (Louis F. Benson, 1924)

    One word (highlighted in red) has confused me a little. I think the author used 'spoken' because it rhymes but we should use 'said' instead of 'spoken' in this case in day-to-day speech. Am I right? If I'm not, could I say so:

    Sorry for what I have spoken yesterday.
    ???

    Thanks

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: speak vs say

    No, and no. You can either say or speak a word, although in modern speech 'speak' often has no dirext object.

    Your suggestion is doubly wrong - wrong verb and wrong tense.

    b

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: speak vs say

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicky_K View Post
    Hello,

    today I read this piece of poetry:

    For the bread, which you have broken,
    for the wine which you have poured,
    for the words which you have spoken,
    now we give you thanks, O Lord.
    ... (Louis F. Benson, 1924)

    One word (highlighted in red) has confused me a little. I think the author used 'spoken' because it rhymes but we should use 'said' instead of 'spoken' in this case in day-to-day speech. Am I right? If I'm not, could I say so:

    Sorry for what I have spoken yesterday.
    ???

    Thanks
    "Spoken" was probably chosen because it rhymed with "broken" but it's the appropriate word anyway after "the words which..."

    For your example, there are the following possibilities:

    I am sorry for what I said yesterday.
    I am sorry for the words I spoke yesterday.
    I am sorry for the words I have spoken [in the past].

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