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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #1

    Question Say or tell something ?

    Hello,

    I would like to be sure about the usage of say against tell in a specific sentence.

    Is that correct to say " I can't say the difference between those two colors. " or should I use tell instead ?
    To my comprehension, I should use tell if I say : "I can't tell you the difference between those two colors."


    Thanks for your help
    Pascal


    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 104
    #2

    Smile Re: Say or tell something ?

    I am almost sure the correct sentence is :"I can't tell you the difference between those two colors."...it doesn't sounds well if you use ''say''. So you're right.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #3

    Re: Say or tell something ?

    Welcome, pomoxp.

    I agree with Carmenn;e.g., I can't tell the difference. In that context tell means, to distinguish; discriminate; ascertain.

    In addition, to tell means to give information; to say means to utter words. For example,

    Ex: I can't tell you what my name is.
    => meaning: I can't give you that information.

    Ex: I can't say what my name is.
    => meaning: I have lost my voice; I'm not permitted to say; I can't remember.

    Does that help?

  3. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #4

    Re: Say or tell something ?

    Hello,

    In fact I am doing an exercise where I need to choose say or tell.

    11) I can't tell the difference between those two colors. They're so alike.

    So I understood better why tell is best in the first sentence, because it is like you wrote Casiopea
    In that context tell means, to distinguish; discriminate; ascertain.

    And in this other question :

    14) My son Christopher learned to say the time at school. He's so proud.

    I choosed "say" : I think I am wrong because in fact, when we tell the time it is implicity to others.
    Is that ok this way of thinking ?



    I say : I certainly will success, if I tell you that I am recognizing my mistakes

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #5

    Re: Say or tell something ?

    You tell the time because a clock, a watch gives us information about what time of day it is.

    I say: I certainly will success, if I tell you that I am recognizing my mistakes.

    Does that help?

  5. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 3
    #6

    Thumbs up [Resolved] Say or tell something ?

    Thank you very much for your help


  6. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #7

    Re: [Resolved] Say or tell something ?

    You're most welcome.

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