Vocabulary Exercise: Say, tell, speak, talk

These four verbs can cause problems for English learners.


1. You “say” something (to someone.)

“She said ‘I hate ironing’.”

Also, “say a few words”, “say it again”.

2. You “tell” someone something.

“He told her an interesting story.

Also “tell the truth”, “tell a lie”.

3. You “speak” a language.

Also, “speak up” = speak more loudly.

4. You talk when you communicate with another person.

“We talked all night.”

Also “talk politics”, “talk shop”.

Say, Tell, Speak, Talk

Choose the correct answer.