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tell

tell

 
 
pronunciation:
tel
features:
Note, Word Explorer
part of speech: verb
inflections: tells, telling, told
definition 1: to give information to someone.
He told me that she was sick.She told me about her problems at work.
synonyms:
inform
similar words:
advise, announce
definition 2: to express in spoken or written words.
His mother always tells a story to him before he goes to sleep.She told a lie.
similar words:
announce, communicate, express, report, speak, write
definition 3: to command.
Please tell the children to be quiet.
synonyms:
demand, order
similar words:
charge, require
definition 4: to recognize.
He can't tell the difference between my twin brother and me.Can you tell if this meat is still fresh?
synonyms:
distinguish
similar words:
discriminate, know
tell or say?
Say is used to report the words that someone spoke. Tell is used to report an act of communication between people. The emphasis with say is on words. The emphasis with tell is on both the person who receives a message and the message itself.
Compare:
  • She said that she was sick
  • She told me that she was sick.
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  communication, literature