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When to use speak talk and say

The verbs say, tell, speak, and talk can be confusing to English learners. The meanings are similar, but we use them in different ways, so it is important to know how to use them correctly. He said learning English is fun! A clause always includes a subject a thing or person and a verb an action, usually. She said that she was tired. He says that he forgot his homework.


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WATCH RELATED VIDEO: Say Tell Speak Talk. Разница, употребление. Английская лексика

How To Use Say, Tell, Speak And Talk: Differences, Expressions, Idioms


Anyone else experience a headache after reading those four sentences? The English verbs say, tell, talk, and speak all have similar meanings but can sound weird when misused. Take a look:. But then again, interchanging speak with talk or say with tell can sound alright:. Should we solve this conundrum of a mind twister together? Read on for how to learn when to use these tricky English verbs! Trust me. Take a look at the following conjugations—hopefully, the examples will help you distinguish the differences between them.

My advice? Try to create your own understanding of these similar English verbs as you read through the examples. Simple present: tell I like to tell Sarah all about my love life.

It's weird. Simple past: told I told you I was a Gryffindor! Anyone know this song? Past: I wish I had told them to stay home. Simple present: talk She talks so much! Simple past: talked I talked his ear off last night. Past: I was talking too much in class, so my teacher gave me detention.

Tell me more about you. Past: I felt like she had talked forever before I finally kissed her. Simple present: speak Please speak loud and clear during your presentation. Past: I was speaking at a conference when the love of my life walked into the room, and everything changed. Survivor, anyone? Past: The tribe had spoken, but then I found my way back into the show!

Now that we know how to use the verbs in their different tenses let's learn how to understand when to use them! Disclaimer: The following unveils a basic, simple glimpse of how to differentiate the verbs.

Use talk for more informal circumstances and speak for more formal situations. And speak is typically used when just one person is addressing a group a teacher addressing their class : I will speak to my class tomorrow about the fundraiser.

She knows how to speak informal English. Side note, if you want to learn some informal English, feel free to follow this link for tips and tricks on slang, contractions, and more. There are some sentences that allow you to use either tell or say. Quick tip: say focuses more on specifics of what people say.

Whereas, tell tends to reveal the message of a conversation or a meeting or an instance where people talked about something, or you can use it to report something. Other ways to distinguish between say and tell :. Plans, details, inform: Can you tell me where we are going tonight? Time to test your knowledge with a little quiz. Do note that not all of the answers will be in the present tense.

And before you quickly pass by this quiz, remember that self-quizzing is an exceptional learning tool. Well, there you have it! I hope you now have a basic understanding of how to differentiate these four tricky English verbs. And trust me, even native speakers have a hard time distinguishing the differences between say, tell, speak, and talk.

I will tell you all about my date tomorrow! I think we will talk all night long about nothing and everything. I am going to speak to my students about bullying tomorrow. What did Kelly just say to John? Take a look: I will speak to you all about my date tomorrow!

I think we will tell all night long about nothing and everything. I am going to say to my students about bullying tomorrow. What did Kelly just talk to John? But then again, interchanging speak with talk or say with tell can sound alright: I am going to talk to my students about bullying tomorrow.

What did Kelly just tell John? To tell: Simple present: tell I like to tell Sarah all about my love life. To talk: Simple present: talk She talks so much!

To speak: Simple present: speak Please speak loud and clear during your presentation. How to Learn the Difference Between Say, Tell, Talk, Speak Now that we know how to use the verbs in their different tenses let's learn how to understand when to use them!

Talk vs. Take a look at this sentence: He was talking to his classmate when the teacher started speaking. Can you see the difference? We talked for hours last night! And you can use speak when referring to languages: She speaks French, Spanish, and Italian!

My grandpa spoke German. Tell vs. Other ways to distinguish between say and tell : Here are some common expressions used with say : Shows something: What did the newspaper say today?

Here are some common expressions with tell : Plans, details, inform: Can you tell me where we are going tonight? Differences: Can you tell the difference between Fred and George Weasley? Talk 3. Speaks 4. Spoke 5. Says 6. Talking 7. Said 8. Told Well, there you have it! Speechling is a nonprofit app and website that combines human coaching with technology to improve your foreign language speaking.

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Difference between SAY, TALK, TELL and SPEAK (with Useful Examples)

You say something or say something to somebody. She said that she worked in the big company. He said that he was ill. I need to speak to you after class. The king of this country spoke to the audience about the war.

speak - say - tell. 'speak'. When you speak, you use your voice to produce words. The past tense of speak is spoke. The -ed participle is spoken.

The Difference Between Tell, Say, Speak, Talk


It only takes a minute to sign up. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search. There are a number of questions e. However, there also seem to be some grammatical differences between the two words. This question is about whether there's a way to formally pin down these differences, or whether they're just contingent features of the two words having different histories. On the other hand, many other constructions work just as well with either though they might have subtly different meanings , for example. I'm interested in whether there's a way to pin down these differences e.

Say, Tell, Speak, and Talk – What’s the difference?

when to use speak talk and say

Thank you for your question. On August 3, I answered a question about the differences between say and tell click here to see the answer , so here I will focus on the similarities and differences between speak and talk. In general, both speak and talk are used to refer to the act of expressing thoughts with words. Speak and talk can be used interchangeably in sentences like these:. Here is that structure in short form:.

Man communicates with each other through language. It is very complex, and there are thousands of languages that are spoken by man.

Talk vs. Speak


Your answer:. Correct answer:. I can help you speak English more easily! Get your first 10 English fluency phrases here! Skip to content. Say, Tell, Speak, Talk Choose the correct answer.

The Verbs Say, Tell, Talk, Speak in English

Do these English verbs sometimes confuse you? They are so similar, that it can be difficult to know which one is the right one to use! It could be a name or a pronoun, but there must be a person following. So to help you understand I want to use some examples. So feel free to practice out loud with me while I'm saying these sentences, you'll get some extra speaking practice too as well as a grammar lesson. But it also sounds a bit more formal, it sounds important.

would is the past tense of will: He said he would come but he forgot. We use may have, might have and could have to show that something has possibly happened.

Don't him about our plans. Correct Incorrect. Don't tell him about our plans.

Are you talking to me? I said are you talking to me? How many times have you misused these 4 words? See Video Lessons for This Article.

Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay.

I made this video at the request of one of our Facebook followers, who, like many English students, has problems knowing the difference between say , tell , speak and talk. I divide the lesson into two parts: i Say v Tell and ii Speak v Talk , in order to give you the clearest way to differentiate these four similar verbs. If you like this video and you want more FREE English lessons, be sure to Subscribe to our YouTube channel for 3 weekly episodes giving you more tips on how to speak English more fluently and with more confidence!! The general rule is that we say something and we tell someone. In other words, the verb you need depends on what follows the verb. Speak and Talk are very similar. Firstly, we speak a language we don't talk a language".

Anyone else experience a headache after reading those four sentences? The English verbs say, tell, talk, and speak all have similar meanings but can sound weird when misused. Take a look:.




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  1. Hillocke

    The small things!

  2. Eldwin

    Great topic