Uses      Examples




-Used with direct and indirect speech


-Say is most used without a personal object

If we want to put a personal object after say, we use to.

-She said that it was my last chance.

-He said “Good morning”

-And I say to all the people of this great country …







-Used with direct and indirect speech after tell, we usually say who is told, i.e., tell someone something.

– only used to mean “instruct” or “inform”

– tell is used to tell someone to do something

– tell is not used before objects like a word, a name, a sentence, a phrase.



–          she told me that she would be late.

–          She told me that was my last chance.

–          I don’t want to tell you again to get your homework done.





– There is not very much difference between speak and talk.

– talk is the more usual word to refer to conversational exchanges and  informal situations

– When she walked into the room everybody stopped talking.



Is often used for one-way communication and for exchanges in more serious or formal situations.

– Speak is the usual word to refer knowledge and use of languages.

– I’ll have to speak to that boy- he’s getting really lazy.

– After she had finished reading the letter, nobody spoke.

– She speaks three languages fluently.




Complete the sentences with: to tell, to speak, to speak, to talk in the correct form:


a)    I don’t want to ___________ about this.


b)   ________her that I’m coming tomorrow.


c)    What did you __________ to her?


d)   I __________ my mom that I planned to come home for Christmas.


e)    We have to ____________ them that we plan to lunch the new product this week.


f)    What did your boss _________ to you about?


g)    We __________ about a lot of different topics.


h)   He __________ that he was satisfied with my work.


i)     Why didn’t you ___________ me?




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