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English definition of “say”


verb [T] (SPEAK)    /seɪ/ (said, said)
A1 to pronounce words or sounds , to express a thought , opinion , or suggestion , or to state a fact or instruction : Small children find it difficult to say long words. She said goodbye to all her friends and left . Ben never forgets to say " Please " and " Thank you". How do you say ' goodbye ' in French ? I'm sorry , what did you say? Do you know what she said to him? What did they say about the house ? [+ speech] "I'm going out this evening ," she said. He said to him self (= thought ), "This will never work ." [+ (that)] The doctors say (that) it will take him a few weeks to recover . [+ question word] She didn't say wh ether she was coming. Did she say (= tell you) why she wasn't coming? [+ to infinitive] informal He said (= told me) to meet him here. I've got something to say to you. The offer was so good that I couldn't say no (= couldn't refuse ).Saying and utteringSaying again Grammar:Say or tell?Say and tell are irregular verbs. The past simple of say is said, the past simple of tell is told:Grammar:Say and tell with objectsBoth say and tell take a direct object. The object is most commonly the reported clause (the report of what someone said).Grammar:Tell + indirect object + to-infinitiveWe use tell with an indirect object and a to-infinitive to report a command or an instruction. We don’t normally use say in this way:
(Definition of say verb (SPEAK) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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