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    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 3

    tell and say

    what is the difference in these two words in terms of meaning or grammar?
    which one to use here: say no or tell no? say one's name or tell one's name. we use tell a secret instead of say why is that? thanks a lot.

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: tell and say

    I wuold suggest that you tell someone something and that you say something to anyone/everyone.

    Tell X your name - specifically to an individual

    Say your name - generally, perhaps to make sure your name is understood.

    He told me a secret - secrets are usually only told to people, otherwise they aren't secret.

  1. BobK's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Jul 2006
    • Posts: 16,038

    Re: tell and say

    (Note also that the more common collocation with 'name' is 'give' - which avoids the problem : 'He telephoned the poice, but refused to give his name.')



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