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The verbs we use for ‘talking’ (Part 1)

Learn some key phrases to describe talking. 

This week, the speaking class have been thinking about some of the words we can use to describe ‘talking’. The students then worked on their own lists of the phrases we can use for the words talk, speak, say, tell.

Talk

To talk (to someone) about something

To talk a lot/too much/all the time

To be able to talk

To give a talk to an audience

Speak

To speak to/with someone about something

To be able to speak a language

To make a speech to an audience

Say

To say something to someone

To say nothing/’when’

Used in direct speech: “Pass me the book,” she said.

Tell

To tell someone something

To tell someone to do something

To tell the truth/a lie/a story

Complete these sentences with the words talk, speak, say, tell. You also need to choose the correct tense.

  1. She was  _______ to go home.
  2. They _______ to each other quietly in the library for an hour.
  3. “Come in,” they ________.
  4. The postman didn’t _______ me he had delivered the parcel.
  5. How many languages do you ________?
  6. ______ me the truth!
  7. Don’t believe him. He is always _______ lies.
  8. “Please stop _______ and listen carefully to me”, he ________.
  9. You must be silent when he is _______.
  10. There is nothing more you can _______ to convince me.
The verbs we use for ‘talking’ (Part 1)

Answers

  1. She was TOLD to go home.
  2. They SPOKE/TALKED to each other quietly in the library for an hour.
  3. “Come in,” they SAID.
  4. The postman didn’t TELL me he had delivered the parcel.
  5. How many languages do you SPEAK?
  6. TELL me the truth!
  7. Don’t believe him. He is always TELLING lies.
  8. “Please stop TALKING and listen carefully to me”, he SAID.
  9. You must be silent when he is TALKING/SPEAKING.
  10. There is nothing more you can SAY to convince me.

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