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Thread: told vs. said

  1. Anonymous
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    #1

    told vs. said

    Why do Americans say "I told a lie" rather than "I said a lie?"

    What's the difference between told and said?


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    #2

    Re: told vs. said

    To be honest, i have never heard people say "say a lie". It's always "tell a lie", it's considered a set-phrase, like "tell the truth".
    I may be wrong though.

  2. banderas's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: told vs. said

    Quote Originally Posted by MashUK View Post
    To be honest, i have never heard people say "say a lie". It's always "tell a lie", it's considered a set-phrase, like "tell the truth".
    I may be wrong though.
    You are not.


    Here are a few more fixed phrases with tell. We cannot use say with these phrases:
    tell (someone) a story
    tell the future (= to know what the future will bring)
    tell the time (= know how to read a clock)

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