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Language tip of the week: tell someone something

Learn English with Macmillan DictionaryIn this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This week’s tip looks at words and phrases you can use instead of tell to talk about telling someone something.



let someone know to tell someone something:
Let me know when he arrives. ♦ Let us know how you get on. 
pass on to tell someone something that someone else has told you:
Be sure to pass on the message. ♦ She knew her comments would be passed on to people higher up the organization. ♦ Tom passed on the news that evening on his way home.
communicate to express thoughts, feelings or information to someone, for example by speaking or writing to them:
The news was verbally communicated to officials back in July. ♦ Can you somehow communicate to him that we’re just not interested? ♦ They communicate with each other via email.
advise to tell someone facts or information that they need to know. Advise is formal and used mainly in written English:
The committee will advise all applicants of its decision by 30th June. ♦ The memo advised that the time of the meeting had changed.
explain to tell someone something in a way that helps them understand it better:
The doctor explained the risks to me before the operation. ♦ I will try to explain how a car engine works.
put someone in the picture to give someone the information they need to understand something. Put someone in the picture is informal and used mainly in spoken English:
Mike here can put you in the picture about how we run the office.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘tell‘.

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Liz Potter

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