Exercise on Say-Tell

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Grammar Notes

  • "Tell" is used in reported (indirect) speech, and only if the person we are talking to (complemento di termine) is expressed. No "to" after tell (Ex.: Tell me what you mean)
  • "Say" is used in all other cases: in direct speech, and in reported speech without the person we are talking to. Requires "to" (Ex.: He said to me: "I know what you mean")
  • "Tell" is also used when it means "raccontare" and in some expressions: tell a story, tell a joke, tell a lie, tell the truth, tell the future, tell the time, tell apart etc
  1. I've ___ you the truth.
    said    say    tell    told
  2. Could you ____ me the right time, please?
    say    tell
  3. Do as I ___ , not as I do.
    said    told    say    tell
  4. Please ___ everybody I'll be away for ten days.
    tell    say    to tell    to say
  5. What did she just ____?
    say    tell
  6. She ____ that she wasn't coming.
    said    told
  7. You haven't handed in the essay yet. What can you ___ for yourself?
    tell    to tell    say    to say
  8. I ____ them not to do it.
    said    told
  9. It's difficult ___ Charles and Tony apart.
    to say    to tell    telling    saying
  10. That's what everybody _____.
    says    tells
  11. It goes without ___ that Jenny is the best student in her class.
    saying    say    telling    tell
  12. ____ us the story again!
    Say    Tell
  13. Let's choose a big company, ___ , Microsoft to examine their business plan.
    saying    say    telling    tell
  14. I always ___ the children a story before bedtime.
    to tell    say    saying    tell
  15. I ____ her a lie.
    said    told
  16. The sergeant ___ the soldiers to open fire.
    was told    told    said    was said
  17. I ____ you not to do that
    said    told
  18. The fact that she didn't call back ___ a lot about her attitude.
    tells    tell    says    say
  19. She's never ___ a lie in her life.
    told    said    telling    saying
  20. I can't ____ you; it's a secret.
    said    told    say    tell
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 1. told

 2. tell

 3. say

 4. tell

 5. say

 6. said

 7. say

 8. told

 9. to tell

10. says

11. saying

12. Tell

13. say

14. tell

15. told

16. told

17. told

18. says

19. told

20. tell you