tell Meaning in the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “tell” - Learner’s Dictionary

tell

verb     /tel/ ( past tense and past participle told)
SAY [T] A1 to say something to someone, usually giving them information: He told me about his new school. [+ (that)] Sally told me that the play didn't start until 9 o'clock. [+ question word] Can you tell me what time the next bus leaves?Announcing, informing and stating
tell sb to do sth A2 to order someone to do something: I told you to stay here.Giving orders and commands
can tell B2 to know or recognize something from what you hear, see, etc: [+ (that)] You could tell that he was tired. [+ question word] You can never tell whether Hajime's being serious or not. I can't tell the difference between them.Knowledge and awareness
UNDERSTAND FROM [T] B2 If something tells you something, it gives you information: What does the survey tell us about the lives of teenagers?Announcing, informing and stating
(I'll) tell you what used to suggest a plan: Tell you what, let's go swimming and then get a pizza.Suggestions and proposals
EFFECT [I] to have a bad effect on someone: The worry of the last few months was starting to tell on him.Causing things to happen
(I) told you so! informal used when someone has caused problems for themselves by doing something that you told them not to →  See also tell sb's fortune Threats and warnings
(Definition of tell from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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