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This question already has an answer here:

I am not sure about the adding of the preposition in the following case:

"I want to tell my friend that I appreciate her."

"I want to tell TO my friend that I apreciate her."

Which one is correct?

marked as duplicate by Mari-Lou A, Glorfindel, SovereignSun, tchrist, rjpond Dec 17 '17 at 11:20

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The first is correct (although the comma was unnecessary):

I want to tell my friend that I appreciate her.

The second can be used with a different verb:

I want to say to my friend that I appreciate her.

Although both verbs are transitive, in the case of say the object is what you are saying, not to whom you say it.

The case of tell is more difficult. I can tell someone and I can also tell stories. For example

I want to tell stories to my friend.

and even

I want to tell my friend stories.


Edit:

The last example is very much like the first example.

I want to tell my friend ... something.

The penultimate example might be confusing, but starting with the simple

I want to tell stories

here are some other examples that use prepositions:

I want to tell stories about the sea.

I want to tell stories from The Arabian Nights.

I want to tell stories after dark.

I want to tell stories on the stage.

I want to tell stories at bedtime.

I want to tell stories to keep them alive.

I want to tell stories between my other activities.

I want to tell stories to my friend.

  • Thank you. The comma is a typo. Just now I noticed that I put it unintentionally. – Judicious Allure Nov 20 '17 at 12:05
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    I think a beginner could find your second-to-last example confusing, because the rest of the answer explains that "tell" is used without "to", and then you write "I want to tell stories to my friend". And it's almost identical to the last example, where the "to" is missing. I'd suggest to add something to explain that case. – Fabio Turati Nov 20 '17 at 16:17
  • @FabioTurati edited. – Weather Vane Nov 20 '17 at 21:11
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Here is my suggestion. We tell somebody something, thus you would say: I want to tell my friend that I appreciate her.

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