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    #1

    Difference between tell and tell about.

    Hi all. Can someone explain to me the difference between tell and tell about?

    Which of the sentences below are true?

    1) Did you believe the story I told you?
    2) Did you believe the story I told you about?
    3) Fran is the aunt I told you.
    4) Fran is the aunt I told you about.

    Thank you.

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    #2

    Re: Difference between tell and tell about.

    1) Did you believe the story I told you? (correct)
    2) Did you believe the story I told you about? (incorrect though possibly usable in some contexts)
    3) Fran is the aunt I told you. (incorrect)
    4) Fran is the aunt I told you about. (correct)

    "Told about" describes something (the story) to the person you are talking to.

    Told means you actually told them the story ie they have experienced it.

    You can not "tell" somebody a physical object (like an aunt) because tell implies the transferal of information via speech (you can tell people stories, information, etc) .

    Tell about is ok because you are describing the aunt ie passing on information.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Difference between tell and tell about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Energy Engineer View Post

    Which of the sentences below are true?
    Please note that "true" is about facts. It's not the same as "correct."

    I can write something that is grammatically correct that is not factual, so it's not true. "I have blue eyes," for example, is correctly written, but not true. "Green eyes I be having" is incorrectly written but factually true.
    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.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Difference between tell and tell about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Please note that "true" is about facts. It's not the same as "correct."

    "Green eyes I be having" is incorrectly written ...
    Except perhaps in literature by Thomas Hardy.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Difference between tell and tell about.

    Actually, I was hearing "We be jammin'!" in my head when I wrote that.
    (Don't take this the wrong way, but Jude the Obscure was the most painful required reading experience of my high school career.)
    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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    #6

    Re: Difference between tell and tell about.

    Quote Originally Posted by GUS22 View Post
    1) Did you believe the story I told you? (correct)
    2) Did you believe the story I told you about? (incorrect though possibly usable in some contexts)
    3) Fran is the aunt I told you. (incorrect)
    4) Fran is the aunt I told you about. (correct)

    "Told about" describes something (the story) to the person you are talking to.

    Told means you actually told them the story ie they have experienced it.

    You can not "tell" somebody a physical object (like an aunt) because tell implies the transferal of information via speech (you can tell people stories, information, etc) .

    Tell about is ok because you are describing the aunt ie passing on information.
    Thank you. I understood with your help.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Please note that "true" is about facts. It's not the same as "correct."

    I can write something that is grammatically correct that is not factual, so it's not true. "I have blue eyes," for example, is correctly written, but not true. "Green eyes I be having" is incorrectly written but factually true.
    Thank you. I didn't know.

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