wtorek, 5 listopada 2013

Tell him, say to him

In yesterday's post, we introduced a phrase including two common errors:

One of my teacher told to me ... 

We discussed the first error yesterday; the phrase should run

One of my teachers ... 

The second error involves the verb tell used with the preposition to. In most cases we don't use to after tell:

One of my teachers told me ... that I was failing his course.

Generally, when we use the verb tell to mean command, instruct, give information, etc., we do NOT use to.  Instead, we use the verb plus an indirect object, which in this case is usually a person's name, a noun, or a pronoun:

Tell John to get over here right away.
You should tell them to try another restaurant.
He told her what had happened.
Somebody needs to tell that obnoxious dog to stop barking.

On the other hand, when we use the verb say instead of tell, we should use to:

I said him that I was sick.  (WRONG)
I said to him that I was sick (OR I told him that I was sick.)

This opens up a whole can of worms (to use an English idiom!).  In other words, this introduces many new problems, such as the difference between speak, talk, say and tell; the different meanings of the verb tell; situations when we DO use to with tell; and what we should do with other verbs, such as explain, call, apologise, etc.  We'll look at these problems in the near future.

Brak komentarzy:

Publikowanie komentarza