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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    tell how similar people are

    I know that in some expressions we can use tell without an object (not 'to tell somebody', but just 'to tell'). For example, 'to tell lies', 'to tell the truth' etc. Is it correct to use tell without an object (tell+ somebody) in the following sentences:

    Now you can:
    - tell how different or similar people are.
    - tell a story about Nina and Peter.

    (I am writing a textbook for students and I need to sum up the material studied.)
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #2

    Re: tell how similar people are

    Yes, both endings work after ​Now you can....
    I am not a teacher.

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: tell how similar people are

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Yes, both endings work after ​Now you can....
    And can I say "Please, tell about the differences between English and American homes (or whatever)'?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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    #4

    Re: tell how similar people are

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    And can I say "Please, tell about the differences between English and American homes (or whatever)'?
    Tell needs a direct object in this usage: Please tell me​ about the differences between English and American homes.

    Your original question used tell two different ways: tell the difference and tell something [a story, for example]. When it means say something aloud, it (usually!) requires a direct object. One exception I can think of is the expression Do tell!
    I am not a teacher.

  3. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: tell how similar people are

    Does it mean that "Now you can tell how different or similar people are" is NOT about a student's ability to say it aloud, it's more about UNDERSTANDING it? These are achivements of a student and the aim of the lesson was to teach a student how to talk (say it aloud) in English about all this. How should we put it so that we could get the intended meaning of 'saying it aloud'. If I got you correctly, 'tell' doesn't mean 'say something aloud' in the following sentence?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  4. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: tell how similar people are

    See the third definition here.

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