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Say or Tell

You tell someone something, but you say something.

Lion cub saying something and a kitten telling the lion something.

‘I am telling you that it is my bowl.’
‘I say that it is mine.’

You tell someone something.
• Gary told Tim that he was tired.
(Tim = Someone) ( . . . that he was tired. = tell something)
You say something.
• Gary said that he was tired.
( . . . that he was tired. = Say something)

• Anthony says you have a new job.
• Anthony tells me you have a new job.
• Tara said: ‘I love you.’
• Tara told John that she loved him.

Remember: Tell someone. Say something.
  • Exercise 1

    Remember: Tell someone. Say something.

    Look at these examples then choose say or tell to complete the rules.

    Remember: Tell someone. Say something.

    Look at these examples then choose say or tell to complete the rules.
    • She said that she loved chocolate.
    • She told me that she loved chocolate.

    Exercise 2

    Remember: Tell someone. Say something.

    Use either say, said, tell or told to complete each sentence.

    Remember: Tell someone. Say something.

    Use either say, said, tell or told to complete each sentence.

    Exercise 3

    Use either saysaidtell or told  to complete each sentence.

    Use either say, said, tell or told to complete each sentence.

    Exercise 4

    Use the correct form of say or tell  to complete the expression in each sentence.

    Use the correct form of say or tell to complete the expression in each sentence.

  • Remember: Tell someone. Say something.

    ‘I am telling you that it is my food.’

    ‘I say that it is mine.’

    Remember: Tell someone. Say something.

    ‘I’m going to tell mum that you made a mess in the garden.’
    ‘You said that you wouldn’t tell her.’
    ‘I won’t tell her if you do something for me.’
    ‘What do you want me to do?’
    Say sorry for making the mess.’
    ‘I won’t say sorry.’
    ‘So, I will tell her you made the mess.’
    ‘I know – tell her that the cat did it.’
    ‘Agreed.’