Speak is used when one person addresses a group, or to refer to a language.
Talk suggests that two or more people are having a conversation.
Sometimes they are used with similar meaning. There are also fixed expressions.
Say is used with words. Structure: say something to somebody.
Tell is used when giving information. Structure: tell somebody something.
Speak se usa cuando una persona se dirige a un grupo, o para referirse a un idioma.
Talk sugiere que dos o más personas tienen una conversación.
A veces ambos se usan con significado similar. También hay expresiones fijas.
Say se usa con palabras. Estructura: say something to somebody.
Tell se usa cuando se da información. Estructura: tell somebody something.
- speak (spoke, spoken)
He spoke to the class about the problem.
Can you speak Chinese?
I'd like to speak to Mr. Pitt, please.
- talk (talked, talked)They talked for hours about the problem.
Can I talk to Mr. Pitt, please?
- say (said, said)She said nothing all morning. (spoke no words)
As she entered, she said 'Hello' to me.
He said 'Goodbye' and went away.
- tell (told, told)She told me nothing about herself. (gave me no information)
Can you tell me how to get to the bank?
- Phrases with 'tell'
You can tell...
- Related words and expressions
speech: act of speaking or formal talk given to an audience
speaker: person who speaks
talk: conversation or informal speech
saying: well-known phrase
be on speaking terms with somebody: be on friendly or polite terms, be willing to talk
actions speak louder than words: what a person actually does means more than what he says he will do
the facts speak for themselves: the facts show the truth, without further interpretation or explanation
speak/talk of the devil: said when somebody one has been talking about appears
talk one's head off: talk too much
say when: used to ask somebody to show when one should stop pouring a drink
not say boo to a goose: be too shy or too gentle
before you could say Jack Robinson: very quickly or suddenly
easier said than done: more difficult to do than to talk about. Eg. Getting a job is easier said than done.
say no more: I understand what you mean
- Ver también Ways of speaking
Exercise - Say
or tell? - Medium
Exercise - Say
or tell? - Difficult
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