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John: "I had a rough day."

Mary: "Tell me about it."

What does "Tell me about it" mean?

Mary's statement doesn't sound sincere to me.

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    It's not a statement but an imperative, and it's not meant to be sincere, if that's what you mean. "You don't need to tell me because I've had a similar experience." Oct 30, 2023 at 15:27
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    It's genuinely sarcastic, but friendly for being so standard. It does not mean I don't want to hear about your boring rough day, only Yeah, I got it already. Oct 30, 2023 at 15:28
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    It is a colloquial idiom. Meaning: You are not telling me anything I don't already know.
    – Lambie
    Oct 30, 2023 at 15:35
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    Exactly the same idiomatic sense (I already know - and agree) is conveyed by You're telling me! Plus there's also Tell me something I don't know, but that one's often more perfunctory / dismissive, so should be used with care. Oct 30, 2023 at 15:40
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    If said kindly, it could mean what it appears to mean, i.e. 'tell me about your rough day, so that I may comfort you', or if said sarcastically I suppose it can mean 'Don't whine to me. I have had a rough day too'. It could also convey rueful agreement - e.g. Person A: Our boss is a toss-pot. Person B: Tell me about it! Oct 30, 2023 at 18:53

1 Answer 1

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(A) "tell me about it!"

used to say that you feel the same way or have had the same experience:

"He's driving me crazy with his stupid jokes."
"Tell me about it!"

Check here :
https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/tell-me-about-it

(B) "tell me about it"

informal idiom
used to say that one understands what someone is talking about because one has had the same or a similar experience

"Something is wrong with that computer."
"Yeah, tell me about it. I can never get it to work properly."

Available here :
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tell%20me%20about%20it

(C) "tell me about it"

A way of saying you agree with someone.

Tom: Man, what a rough day.
Tim: Tell me about it.

More here :
https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tell%20me%20about%20it


Basically , that Idiom is a way to say you know what the speaker wants to say , hence there is actually no necessity to say it. It could be sympathetic or sarcastic or friendly or facetious , though it always signals agreement or concordance or concurrence or understanding. It is informal.

This video may be interesting or relevant to hear the Idiom used in various ways :

Song : "Tell Me About It"
Singer : "Tanya Tucker"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvH9Fg0pX0I

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