How to ask from a friend to not tell something / to keep something something in secret?

If I want to choose between these two, which is natural or idiomatic?

Please, don't tell it to anybody.

Please, don't tell it to anyone.

Please, tell it to nobody.

  • 1
    You could also drop the "it to" if you wanted.
    – AIQ
    Dec 10, 2019 at 21:34
  • 2
    As AIQ notes, most people would simply say: Please don't tell anybody/anyone or Please tell nobody/no-one Dec 10, 2019 at 22:02

1 Answer 1


All of these sentences read fine (natural and idiomatic). They differ slightly in formality and register. "Anyone" and "anybody" are interchangeable in most cases, with "anyone" being a little more formal-sounding than "anybody". Also in certain phrases one sounds better than the other. For example, people say "anyone else" more commonly than "anybody else".

Please, tell it to nobody.

This sounds more emphatic. In certain contexts "nobody" is considered informal.

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