tell on

  1. produce an effect or strain on somebody
    Each step told on his tired legs
  2. give away information about somebody
    He told on his classmate who had cheated on the exam
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How To Use tell on In A Sentence

  • Years ago, they'd tell on you if you did something wrong — crimes were solvable. Times, Sunday Times
  • These may all be included in the journey of your life but they tell only a part of the story.
  • To put it another way, we may need to tell one another and ourselves major whoppers, and not just little white lies, to replenish our interest in life.
  • She "hem" - ed and "ha" - ed for awhile, and her simpering ways were just beginning to tell on my nerves, when she suddenly started talking very fast. Lady Molly of Scotland Yard
  • It is not unreasonable to expect that gentlemen who enjoy that sort of recreation, upon hearing that a London call girl was writing a kiss-and-tell online diary, would race to the nearest computer and check it wasn't them being mentioned.
  • She does tell one good joke though:'How many performance artists does it take to change a light bulb? Times, Sunday Times
  • These snakes are roughly cylindrical, and if their small forked tongues didn't flick in and out, it would be hard to tell one end from the other.
  • While Vandy measured him, Doriel began to tell one of the more tame war stories, but Malindila and Vandy both shook their heads.
  • I mentioned in Chapter 2 that ‘narrative display texts’, a class which includes both literary narratives and stories people tell one another, circulate because their stories are tellable, ‘worth it’.
  • He can't tell one wine from another, so don't give him any of the expensive stuff.
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