| Say is used to report someone's words: |
* She said "I'm thirsty."
* She said that she was thirsty.
Say is followed by 'to' before the object:
* Did she say that to you?
Say is used to ask about languages :
* How do you say 'water' in Spanish?
We say :
hello, goodbye, please, thank you,
congratulations, Merry Christmas,
Happy New Year, Happy Birthday!
| Tell is used to inform or instruct : |
* Could you tell me the way to the station please?
* Tell the children to go to bed!
Tell is followed directly by the object :
* Did she tell you her name?
Tell is used for narration :
* Tom is good at telling stories.
We tell :
the time, our name, the truth, lies,
the difference between two things.