Say vs Tell
= to speak words
Say/said is usually used when repeating what someone has said.
Ex: He said he was feeling sick.
Ex: What did she say?
Ex: When he said he was quitting, we became sad.
Prepositions used with say/ said
We use “to” with said to show who we are directing our words at.
Ex: He said to John that he was feeling sick.
We us “that” with said to share the information.
Ex: I said to her that I was going to quit.
= give information to a person
We have to use a personal object (the person we are speaking to) with tell because WHO received the information is more important than the information itself.
Ex: I told you about the party tonight.
Ex: Have you told him the news?
Ex: She always tells me the truth.
Common mistake: He tells what to do. X
Correction: He tells me what to do. 🙂 ( We need the object “me”)
Prepositions used with tell
We use “to” with tell to give someone an order or make a strong request.
Ex: I told you to call me soon.
Ex: Didn’t I tell you to leave me alone?
We use “about” with tell to pass information about an event or series of events.
Ex: Did I tell you about my party?
Ex: Let me tell you about a friend of mine.
We use “that” with tell to express an action or permanent situation
Ex: Did I tell you that I changed my phone number?