The verbs say and tell have similar meanings. They both mean to communicate verbally with someone. But we often use them differently. But, of course, it is not always so easy. Here are a few rules to help you. Personal object We usually follow tell with a personal object (the person that we are speaking to). We usually use say without a personal object: Direct speech We can use say with direct speech.
Say Define Say at Dictionary com
We use tell only with direct speech that is an instruction or information:
Reported speech We can use say and tell to talk about reported information:
Say Idioms by The Free Dictionary
We cannot use say or tell to talk about reported questions.
We cannot use say with these phrases: