The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

1) Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

Why "told me" and not, "said to me"? I was taught "say" to attach to quote, and "tell" in another situation.

2) He didn't say any more but we've always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that.

Why "say" and not "tell"?

  • More examples: How do you get to West Egg village? he asked helplessly. I told him.
    – b2ok
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 17:36
  • "I've got a nice place here," he said, his eyes flashing about restlessly.
    – b2ok
    Commented Aug 17, 2019 at 18:32

2 Answers 2


Generally, you say something (to somebody), but you tell somebody something. That's just the way English is.


"Say focuses on the words someone said and tell focuses more on the content or message of what someone said:" = https://dictionary.cambridge.org/grammar/british-grammar/say-or-tell

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