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    #1

    tell / say

    1. When I arrive at the office, I tell my colleagues, "Gosh. The traffic was horrible".

    2. When I arrive at the office, I say to my colleagues, "Gosh. The traffic was horrible".

    Are both sentences correct? If possible, please explain which is the better sentence?

    Many thanks.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: tell / say

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    1. When I arrive at the office, I tell my colleagues, "Gosh. The traffic was horrible".

    2. When I arrive at the office, I say to my colleagues, "Gosh. The traffic was horrible".

    Are both sentences correct? If possible, please explain which is the better sentence?

    Many thanks.
    In this situation they are interchangeable in meaning but I think that mostly, native speakers would use "say to".

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    #3

    Re: tell / say

    Thanks.

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    #4

    Re: tell / say

    I think 'tell' is more appropriate is 'indirect speech' as in : I tell my colleagues that the traffic is horrible. 'Say' is followed by the direct speech.

    not a teacher


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    #5

    Re: tell / say

    2. When I arrive at the office, I say to my colleagues, "Gosh. The traffic was horrible".
    sometimes when we speak, we are merely making a light comment for the sake of being sociable. "Nice day!", Mrs. Jones.
    'say' in your sentence suggests that this is just a remark that one makes when meeting and greeting colleagues at the start of a day. "Morning all. More rain I see."

    1. When I arrive at the office, I tell my colleagues, "Gosh. The traffic was horrible".
    'tell' suggests that you may have some reason for saying this. Are you, for example, indicating to them in a subtle way that being caught in the traffic is the reason why you have arrived late for work, so that they don't think you're not conscientious? - that you intended to be punctual but were held up in the traffic.
    'tell' suggests that you are passing on some definite fact or piece of information.
    Last edited by David L.; 13-Aug-2008 at 05:18.

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    #6

    Re: tell / say

    'tell' suggests that you are passing on some definite fact or piece of information.
    'I tell you a story/joke/a piece of news' doesn't fit into that description though. You can tell anybody anything I reckon. You can even tell somebody off.


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    #7

    Re: tell / say

    tedtmc:
    Did you read my post, or just do a knee-jerk?

    'tell' suggests that you are passing on some definite fact or piece of information.

    You wrote:
    'I tell you a story/joke/a piece of news' doesn't fit into that description

    Which of 'story', 'joke', or 'piece of news' , all of which have an intent; should, by my definition, be rightly: 'say a story' 'say a joke'. or 'say a piece of news'?

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    #8

    Re: tell / say

    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    tedtmc:
    Did you read my post, or just do a knee-jerk?

    'tell' suggests that you are passing on some definite fact or piece of information.

    You wrote:
    'I tell you a story/joke/a piece of news' doesn't fit into that description

    Which of 'story', 'joke', or 'piece of news' , all of which have an intent; should, by my definition, be rightly: 'say a story' 'say a joke'. or 'say a piece of news'?
    I've never heard 'say a story'. Could a native speaker confirm that I'm right in saying that it should be 'tell a story'?

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    #9

    Re: tell / say

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    I've never heard 'say a story'. Could a native speaker confirm that I'm right in saying that it should be 'tell a story'?
    No one has suggested that it should be "say a story", of course you are right in saying that it should be "tell a story."

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