Common mistake say (tell)

Common Grammar Mistakes: Say vs. Tell

One common mistake that many English speakers make is confusing the usage of the words "say" and "tell." While they may seem similar, there is a key difference in how they are used in sentences. In this article, we will explore the correct usage of these words and provide examples to help you remember the difference.

Understanding "Say"

The word "say" is used to report someone's words or to mention something that has been said. It is often used when we are quoting someone or referring to a previous statement.

  • She said, "I love ice cream."
  • I can't believe you said that!
  • He said he would come to the party.

Understanding "Tell"

On the other hand, "tell" is used when someone is communicating directly with another person. It requires both a subject and an object, with the object being the person to whom the information is being conveyed.

  • She told him the news.
  • I can't believe you told her my secret.
  • He told me to meet him at the restaurant.

As you can see, "tell" requires the use of an object, while "say" does not. This is where the mistake often occurs when using these words interchangeably.

Correcting the Mistake

When you catch yourself using "say" followed by an object, you should replace it with "tell." This will ensure that your sentence is grammatically correct.

Incorrect: She said me to come early.

Correct: She told me to come early.

Remember, "tell" is the word you want to use when you are conveying information or instructions to someone.

About Linguix Grammar Checker

Linguix Grammar Checker is a powerful tool that can help you identify and correct common grammar mistakes like the one discussed in this article. By using Linguix, you can improve your writing and ensure that your sentences are grammatically correct.

say (tell) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    Say me the truth.

    Tell me the truth.

  • Incorrect:
    He said me the truth.

    He told me the truth.

  • Correct:
    She said her daughter continues to see a psychologist.
  • Incorrect:
    He says me the truth.

    He tells me the truth.

  • Correct:
    She says her youngest daughter continues to see a psychologist.
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