20 English Expressions Using the Verb “TELL”

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The verb “tell” is an essential part of the English language, frequently used in various expressions to convey different meanings. These expressions range from sharing information and narrating stories to giving commands and making predictions.

Understanding these expressions can greatly enhance your communication skills, making your speech and writing more effective and nuanced. In this blog post, we’ll explore 20 common English expressions using the verb “tell,” along with their meanings and example sentences to illustrate their usage.

1. Tell a Lie

Meaning: Say something untrue.
Example: She told a lie about her age.

2. Tell the Truth

Meaning: Be honest.
Example: Please tell the truth about the incident.

3. Tell a Story

Meaning: Narrate an account.
Example: He loves to tell a story before bed.

4. Tell Time

Meaning: Know the time.
Example: Can you tell time by the sun?

5. Tell the Difference

Meaning: Distinguish between.
Example: Can you tell the difference between them?

6. Tell a Secret

Meaning: Share confidential information.
Example: She promised to never tell a secret.

7. Tell Someone Off

Meaning: Scold someone.
Example: He had to tell him off sternly.

8. Tell Tales

Meaning: Gossip or tattle.
Example: Kids often tell tales on each other.

9. Tell the Future

Meaning: Predict what will happen.
Example: Can anyone really tell the future accurately?

10. Tell the Time

Meaning: State the current time.
Example: He asked me to tell the time.

11. Tell Apart

Meaning: Differentiate between.
Example: Can you tell the twins apart easily?

12. Tell It Like It Is

Meaning: Be straightforward.
Example: He always tells it like it is.

13. Tell on Someone

Meaning: Report someone’s misdeeds.
Example: She threatened to tell on him.

14. Tell a Joke

Meaning: Share a humorous story.
Example: He can always tell a joke well.

15. Tell a Mile Off

Meaning: Obvious or clear.
Example: You could tell a mile off they were siblings.

16. Tell One’s Fortune

Meaning: Predict someone’s destiny.
Example: She wants to tell my fortune tonight.

17. Tell the Difference Between

Meaning: Distinguish between two things.
Example: Can you tell the difference between these wines?

18. Tell the World

Meaning: Publicly announce something.
Example: She couldn’t wait to tell the world.

19. Tell a White Lie

Meaning: Harmless or small lie.
Example: Sometimes it’s okay to tell a white lie.

20. Tell Someone Something

Meaning: Inform someone.
Example: He had to tell her something important.

expressions using the verb tell


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