Results 1 to 6 of 6
  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,886

    tell about it.

    In my language we can say "Tell about it" without using an indirect object. I know that in English we can't. So how can I improve the following sentence so that it sounded correct?

    Choose a topic that is pleasant for you and tell about it. (There is a number of topics to choose from.)

    (If I use talk about it or speak about it, it may mean only one-way speaking, no one may be listening.)
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    25,698

    Re: tell about it.

    'talk about it'
    “Every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud, adopts as a last resource pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and happy to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

    — Arthur Schopenhauer

  3. #3
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    3,683

    Re: tell about it.

    You might hear this construction of 'tell about' in AmE sometimes as a kind of imperative. It might be nonstandard, though.

    "Tell about that time you went skinny-dipping in the blizzard."

    In your original example, I'd probably say "tell us/the class/your audience about it'.

    If it's a writing assignment and there's no actual speaking involved, then you could say 'write about it'.

    Other possibilities include 'describe it', discuss it', 'elaborate about/on it', and numerous other verbs.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  4. #4
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Posts
    1,325

    Re: tell about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    "Tell about that time you went skinny-dipping in the blizzard."
    Perhaps some regional dialects might accept this but I find it much better with "tell me" or "tell us".

  5. #5
    Phaedrus's Avatar
    Phaedrus is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,371

    Re: tell about it.

    Other possibilities:
    Choose a topic that is pleasant for you and say something about it.
    Choose a topic that is pleasant for you and say some things about it.


  6. #6
    Skrej's Avatar
    Skrej is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Posts
    3,683

    Re: tell about it.

    There's probably a better way to tweak the Ngram, but these results (combined BrE and AmE) show it as fairly common compared to similar phrases including an object. The construction does appear to be more than twice as common in AmE than in BrE.

    Perhaps somebody more adept at using Ngram search variables can improve it or interpret it better.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •