“Tell me” or “Say me”?

Common Mistakes Spanish Speakers Make When Learning English

“Tell me” or “Say Me”?

Say me or tell me English lesson

Say and tell have similar meanings, but English students often make mistakes when using them.

Common mistakes:

  • Wrong: “Say me something interesting!”
  • Correct: “Tell me something interesting!”
  • Wrong: “She say me to fix the car”
  • Correct: “She told me to fix the car”

The simple way to think of say and tell is:

  • You say something
  • You tell someone something
You say something You tell someone something
Jordi said that he was tired. Jordi told Jane that he was tired.
James says you have a new job. James tells me you have a new job.
Isabella said: “I love you.” Isabella told John that she loved him.

Rules

Personal object
We usually follow tell with a personal object (the person that we are speaking to). We usually use say without a personal object:

  • She told me that she loved John.
  • She said that she loved John.
  • He told everybody that he had to leave.
  • He said that he had to leave.

Say “to someone”
With say, we sometimes use “to someone”:

  • He said to me that he was tired.
  • Tara said to Ram that he had done very well.
  • Anthony said to her, “I hope you come soon.”
  • “I’d like to sleep,” she said to him quietly.
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Common Mistakes Spanish Speakers Make When Learning English “Tell me” or “Say Me”? Say and tell have similar meanings, but English students often make mistakes when using...
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