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Difference Between Say or Tell: ESL Grammar Lesson

This vocabulary lesson will help you understand the difference between Say and Tell in English.

Watch the video then do the revision exercises. If you need more help then read the text below before trying the exercises.

You tell someone something, but you say something.

You tell someone something.
‘I am telling you that it is my food.’
Doggy told Catty (someone) . . .
. . . that it was his food. (tell something)
You say something.
‘I say that it is mine.’
Catty said that it was his food. (say something)

Remember: Tell someone. 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.

Now do the revision exercises.