tell [ tel ] (past tense and past participle told [ tould ] ) verb ***
▸ 1 give information
▸ 2 order/advise to do something
▸ 3 recognize something
▸ 4 have clear effect
▸ 5 fail to keep secret
▸ 6 count something
1. ) transitive to give information to someone:
If you see anything suspicious, tell the police.
I'd like to help too, he told me.
tell someone (that): Didn't he tell you that I wanted to see you?
The passengers were told their flight was about to depart.
tell someone who/what/why/how etc.: Just tell me what she said.
Were you told when she would be arriving?
tell someone something: He finally told me the reason why he was so upset.
tell someone (something) about something: Tell me about your day, she said.
I haven't been told anything about it.
tell the truth/a lie: I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
He tells some absolute whoppers (=big lies) sometimes.
a ) if something such as a fact, event, or piece of equipment tells you something, it gives or shows you some information:
The facts themselves don't tell us much.
Her look of surprise told him that he had guessed right.
The flashing light tells you when the battery needs recharging.
What does this room tell you about the person who lived here?
tell its own story/tale (=give all the information you need): His troubled face told its own story.
b ) tell yourself (that) to make yourself consider something in order to understand it correctly or persuade yourself that it is true:
It's a possibility, but that's all it is, he told himself.
I kept telling myself that it would all be over soon.
c ) if you tell a story or a joke, you give someone a spoken account of it:
Grandpa tells wonderful stories about the old days.
tell someone something: Shall I tell you a joke?
2. ) transitive to order or strongly advise someone to do something:
I'm not asking you, I'm telling you!
tell someone to do something: I told you to be here on time this morning.
tell someone what/how/when etc.: I told him what to do, but he wouldn't listen.
You will be told where to sit.
do as/what you're told: Do as you're told this minute!
3. ) intransitive or transitive never progressive to recognize something as a result of knowledge, experience, or evidence:
He's lying. I can always tell.
tell (that): Peter could tell that she was bored.
tell who/what/whether etc.: It's never easy to tell whether he's being serious or not.
a ) to recognize the difference between one person or thing and another:
Which is which? I can't tell.
tell something/someone from something/someone: Can you tell butter from margarine?
They're so alike I can hardly tell one from the other.
tell the difference (between): These days it's hard to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys.
4. ) intransitive to have an effect that can be clearly seen, especially a bad effect:
tell on: These endless business trips are telling on his marriage.
begin/start to tell: The strain of the last few days was beginning to tell.
5. ) intransitive INFORMAL to not keep a secret:
You promised you wouldn't tell.
a ) intransitive or transitive to inform someone about something bad or wrong that someone else has done:
You're not going to tell, are you?
I'm going to tell the teacher if you don't leave me alone.
tell on someone: I won't tell on you if you don't tell on me.
6. ) transitive FORMAL to count each of a number of things, for example animals in a group or votes in an election
all told
after everyone or everything in a group has been counted:
The property must have been nearly a thousand acres all told.
don't tell me SPOKEN
used for interrupting someone because you think you know what they are going to say and want to say it yourself:
Don't tell me, she can't come because she's got to work late.
I can tell you or I'm telling you or I tell you SPOKEN
used for emphasizing that what you are saying is true, although it may seem surprising or hard to believe:
I'm telling you, that's how it happened.
I can't tell you how/what SPOKEN
used for emphasizing that your feelings about something are very strong:
I can't tell you how sorry I am.
I couldn't tell you SPOKEN
used for saying that you do not know the answer to a question, especially when you do not want to be helpful:
What time will he be back? I couldn't tell you.
I told you (so) SPOKEN
used for saying that you warned someone that something bad would happen and you have now been proven right
I'll tell you something/one thing/another thing SPOKEN
used when you are going to make a statement or give your opinion about something:
I'll tell you one thing: I wouldn't like to have his job.
(I'll) tell you what SPOKEN
used when you are going to make a suggestion, proposal, or offer:
I'll tell you what, let's have the party here.
something tells me (that)
used for saying that you think something is probably true or will probably happen:
Something tells me we haven't heard the last of him.
tell it like it is INFORMAL
to state the real facts about something, even if they are unpleasant
tell me SPOKEN
used when you are going to ask a question:
Tell me, what's she really like?
tell me about it SPOKEN
used for saying that you already know about something unpleasant that someone has just described because you have experienced it yourself:
I'm so overworked. Tell me about it!
tell me another (one) SPOKEN
used for saying to someone that you do not believe what they have just said:
They said I was their best worker. Tell me another one.
tell tales
to inform someone about something bad someone else has done
tell time
to know what time it is when you look at a clock or watch
tell someone where to go INFORMAL
to say very rudely to someone that you are not interested in them or in what they are suggesting:
Josh asked me out, but I told him where to go.
someone tells me (that) SPOKEN
used for reporting what someone has said to you:
David tells me that you're leaving. Is it true?
that would be telling SPOKEN
used for saying that you cannot give someone a piece of information because it is a secret
there's no telling who/what/when/how etc.
used for saying that it is impossible to be certain about what has happened or what will happen:
There was no telling how he would react.
to tell (you) the truth SPOKEN
used for saying what you really think or feel:
To tell you the truth, I'm completely bored.
what did I tell you? SPOKEN
used when something happens that you said would happen, often when other people were not so sure
you never can tell or you can never tell SPOKEN
used for saying that it is impossible to be certain about something:
You can never tell how long these meetings will last.
you're telling me SPOKEN
used for saying that you agree with someone:
This is so boring. You're telling me.
,tell a`part phrasal verb transitive
tell someone/something apart to recognize the difference between two people or things that are very similar:
The two women are so similar that only their husbands can tell them apart.
`tell of phrasal verb transitive
1. ) tell someone of something FORMAL to inform someone about something:
She told us of her doubts regarding the policy.
I was told of his death by a fellow officer.
2. ) tell of something MAINLY LITERARY to mention or talk about something:
old legends that tell of a mysterious city beneath the ocean
,tell `off phrasal verb transitive
to criticize someone angrily for doing something wrong:
tell off for doing something: The teacher told me off for talking too much in class.
be/get told off: I'm going to get told off for being late.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • tell — tell …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • tell — W1S1 [tel] v past tense and past participle told [təuld US tould] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(communicate something)¦ 2¦(show something)¦ 3¦(what somebody should do)¦ 4¦(know)¦ 5¦(recognize difference)¦ 6 tell yourself something 7¦(warn)¦ 8¦(tell somebody about… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Tell Me — may refer to:In music: * Tell Me (Diddy song), with Christina Aguilera * Tell Me (Hide song) * Tell Me (Melanie B song) * Tell Me (Billie Myers song) * Tell Me (Bobby Valentino song) * Tell Me (White Lion song) * Tell Me (Wonder Girls song) *… …   Wikipedia

  • Tell — (t[e^]l), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Told} (t[=o]ld); p. pr. & vb. n. {Telling}.] [AS. tellan, from talu tale, number, speech; akin to D. tellen to count, G. z[ a]hlen, OHG. zellen to count, tell, say, Icel. telja, Dan. tale to speak, t[ae]lle to count …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tell Me — Single par Diddy featuring Christina Aguilera extrait de l’album Press Play Sortie 7 novembre, 2006 (U.S.) 14 novembre, 2006 (Allemagne) 11 décembre 2006 (Royaume Uni) Enregistrement 2006 Durée …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Tell Me — «Tell Me» Сингл Diddy при участии Кристи …   Википедия

  • tell — [ tɛl ] n. m. • 1866; mot ar. « colline » ♦ Archéol. Colline artificielle, tertre ou tumulus formé par des ruines. « les premières cités édifiées sur les “tells” surhaussés par la ruine des villages précédents » (Leroi Gourhan). ⊗ HOM. Tel. ●… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Tell me — «Tell Me» Sencillo de Diddy featuring Christina Aguilera del álbum Press Play Formato Descarga digital, CD single Género(s) Hip hop, R B Duración 4:05 …   Wikipedia Español

  • tell — tell1 [tel] vt. told, telling [ME tellen < OE tellan, lit., to calculate, reckon < Gmc * taljan > Ger zahl, number: see TALE] 1. to enumerate; count; reckon [to tell time] 2. to give an account of (a story, etc.) in speech or writing 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Tell — bezeichnet: Tell (Poker), bestimmte körpersprachliche und unbewusste Signale beim Poker Tell (Tunesien), der östliche Ausläufer des algerischen Saharaatlas in Tunesien Tell Qeni, der Gipfel des Dschebel ad Duruz im Hauran Gebiet in Syrien Tell… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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