Welcome to twominenglish.com. Teaching you English through two-minute lessons.
In this lesson you will learn about ‘say’ and ‘tell’ and how to use them in your conversations.
Max: When we say something, it doesn’t need to be to a specific person. It just means that you are speaking. “That’s what everybody is saying.” In this phrase, everybody is saying something, but not to any specific person.
Nina: We can also use “say” to report things, such as “He said that he was on time.”
Max: Right. But we always tell something to someone, like telling your daughter a story.
Nina: Yes! And you can also use “tell” to report things: “He told her he was on time”.
Max: We use “tell” to give facts and information to someone. For example, let me tell you something, Nina: I got the grade I needed!
Nina: Congratulations Max! I knew you’d pass. Now why don’t you tell me more about the difference between say and tell?
Max: That’s pretty much what there is to it, Nina. Let’s listen to some conversations for more examples.
David: Hey, I heard you got a new job.
Anne: Yes, who told you? Did Max tell you I got a new job?
David: Yes, Max told me that.
Anne: Trust Max to quickly spread the news around. What else did he say?
David: He said that you got a 30% raise too.
Anne: Yeah! I am so happy!
David: You deserve it! I can’t wait to tell Cynthia.
Sheila: Hey John, I have a secret to tell you.
John: Tell me! I love secrets and gossip.
Sheila: Well, Max said that he would ask his new girlfriend to marry him.
John: Max really told you that?
Sheila: Yes, he told me that he had got a promotion at work, so he could marry her.
John: That's incredible. Anne said she had seen him with another girl just last week.
Sheila: Oops, maybe he's a player. Don't tell anyone then!
John: I won't tell anybody. Better to let them sort it out themselves.
Sheila: Never tell a secret; it will always come back to haunt you.
Ben: Hey Karen, did you see the new action movie at the cinema?
Karen: No, the critics said it was bad.
Ben: Oh, they always say that. They also said Mission Impossible was bad, but it was good.
Karen: So, about the new movie. Tell me about it.
Ben: I have to say it is a good movie, but too much action and not enough story.
Karen: Tell me, who went with you?
Ben: I took Elizabeth. She told me she didn't like action films, but I took her anyway.
Karen: Did she like it?
Ben : No, she was bored. She got on her phone and messaged her friends all through the movie.
Karen: That’s irritating. Didn’t you tell her to stop?
Ben: No, I didn’t. I wanted to focus on the movie, so I didn’t say anything.