Just say it! Differences between say, tell, speak and talk

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Verbs - say, tell, speak, talk

difference between say tell speak and talk

LESSON OVERVIEW

This lesson plan deals with the difference between say, tell, speak and talk. Students get various exercises that will help them to understand and practise different uses of these verbs. They will also see real-life examples which include these verbs and have been taken from movies.

B1 / Intermediate
B2 / Upper Intermediate
45 minStandard LessonPremium Plan

WARM‐UP

First, students get a task on vocabulary that collocates with the verbs say, tell, speak and talk. They need to cross out one word or phrase that doesn’t collocate with the verb in each box. They also have to say what verb this word or phrase collocates with. Next, students need to choose 5 phrases from the previous exercise and write questions with them. Finally, working in pairs, they ask and answer the questions they wrote.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAY, TELL, SPEAK AND TALK

Next, students focus on the differences between speak and talk. They have to mark whether sentences with these verbs are rather formal or informal. After that, they have to complete the rules by choosing the correct verb. Then, they study a table which shows how say and tell are used, and complete sentences with the correct forms of these two verbs.

COMMON EXPRESSIONS IN CONTEXT

Finally, students get two tasks which show some common expressions in context. In the first exercise, they need to complete the dialogues with correct forms of the verbs: speak, talk, say or tell. In the last task of this worksheet, students need to write their own dialogues with the phrases from the previous task. If you want to show them more examples of how these are used, you can play excerpts from various movies which include these phrases (you can find the links to them in the Teacher’s Worksheet or below). What’s more, we also added some photos of various situations which can inspire students when writing dialogues.
By the way, if you’re curious where we got that video compilation with various phrases we teach in this lesson, the answer is simple: Playphrase.me. Watch out, though, it’s a super simple but also super addictive website ? I bet you guys going to find a thousand ideas how to use this website in your classes. Enjoy!

WORKSHEETS

Comments

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Leave a Reply

  1. Amy

    This is an excellent lesson thank you for this content. The young adults I teach will love the movie references and examples!

    1. Stan

      Happy you like it! Idea: challenge your students to name as many movies as they can from that compilation for bonus points ?

      1. Lydia goold verschoyle

        good idea! but not sure that I would know which movies they are…

  2. James

    It’s like you read my mind or something.. 🙂

    1. Stan

      I’ll pass that to Justa. She has the ability to read my mind but I thought that I’m special. Apparently not 🙂

  3. Amanda

    This is one of the best lessons so far!! Thanks a lot

    1. Justa

      That’s so nice! Thanks!

  4. Ayla

    The video was great! Thank you for great classes 🙂

    1. Justa

      Thanks!

  5. Aga

    Awesome! Some of my students confuse these verbs and this lesson will definitely help them. How did you collate this video?!

  6. Stan

    Well, I downloaded them from playphrase.me and then just compiled them using VSDC Free Video Editor (it came pre-installed with Windows 10). No fancy video editors – just the simplest free tool out there. It was basically drag & drop job 🙂

  7. Dasha

    Thank you so much for the work you do!

    1. Justa

      Thanks!

  8. staff4719

    Useful but would be good to also include other verbs of speech often confused or used wrongly, such as “discuss about” and “explain them”.

    1. Justa

      Thanks for the comment! Actually we’re preparing a worksheet that focuses on different verbs with/without prepositions, so I hope it comes in handy 🙂

  9. Aldona

    Great lesson!

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