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If you say who somebody is talking to, use TELL:

Sonia told me that you were in hospital.( not Sonia said me)

Would you tell me what the following means? and would you give me some example, so that I can understand?

If you say who somebody is talking to

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    If you say who somebody is talking to is just a fragment of a sentence and doesn't mean anything as it stands. – StoneyB Mar 10 '14 at 11:19
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    It would help if gave a more specific title. Every post on here is presumably asking for help with English. – Jay Mar 10 '14 at 13:28
  • Simply put, say means to speak. (Also, say is intransitive, so "Sonia said me" is always incorrect. Sonia said something to me is correct.) Tell means to say something to someone. – BobRodes Mar 10 '14 at 14:36
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I take it this is advice you got from a teacher or English book?

What they mean is: When you want to say that someone spoke certain words, but you don't say who they were talking to, you generally use "said". But when you do specify who they were talking to, you use "tell".

Sonia said that Fred was in the hospital. (Not specifying who she was speaking to.)

Sonia told Alice that Fred was in the hospital. (She was speaking to Alice.)

But this "rule" isn't entirely true. You can use "said" and specify who is being told. You just have to make it an indirect object, that is, use "to".

Sonia said to Alice that Fred was in the hospital.

The difference between "said" and "tell" is really that "tell" takes the identify of the person (or animal or machine or whatever) that is addressed as a direct object. That is, you say it immediately after the verb (generally) with no additional prepositions or other words.

Sonia told Alice ...

"Said" cannot be used like this. "Said" is normally followed by the actual words spoken.

Sonia said, "He's in the hospital."

If you want to specify who they are said to, you need an indirect object, that is, you say "to" followed by the identify of the person.

Sonia said to Alice, "He's in the hospital."

In either case, you can put the actual words in quotes:

Sonia said, "He's in the hospital."

Sonia told Alice, "He's in the hospital."

Or you can give an inexact quote indirectly. We generally use "that" followed by the words, or you can use an interrogative pronoun (who, what, where) followed by some description. Other "introducing" words can be used in various contexts.

Sonia told Alice that Fred was in the hospital.

Sonia told Alice who was in the hospital.

Sonia told Alice why Bob was in the hospital.

Sonia told Alice about the day Bob went to the hospital.

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