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In the following sentence, can I omit the word 'about'? If not, I'd like to know the difference between 'tell somebody something' and 'tell somebody about something'.

I found the tea culture in Japan you told me about very interesting.

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No, you can't.

When you use "tell somebody something" you are expressing indirect speech and the something should normally be a complete sentence. For example,

I told you I would be on time.

I told you tea culture is important in Japan.

When you tell somebody about <something>, the <something> can be just a noun phrase, as in your example.

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  • Also, you tell someone a fact, but when you tell them about something, you give them a longer description which may include numerous facts. Aug 9 '20 at 7:49

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