Purple Level

Lesson Fifteen


tell / told / told / telling

The verb "tell" is similar to "say," but it is often used for commands.

What’s a "command?"

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This verb is also used for indirect speech and for providing information about an event.


1. Marty wants to tell Gabriella he loves her, but he’s not sure what she will say in response.

("Tell" is often used in the form of the infinitive after "want" and "need."

couple man and woman

2. He’s telling everyone not to do business with the company he works for because he’s on strike for better working conditions.

striking workers


3. He was told by his boss to work a little harder on attracting new customers.

(passive voice, past tense)


4. His neighbors told him many times to turn down his music, but he never did. Now the police are telling him to turn it down.


5. I told him not to make a fool of himself, but he didn’t listen.


6. His stomach is telling him that it’s time to eat.



7. Tell me what’s bothering you and I’ll try to help.



present tense: tell / tells
past tense: told
future: will tell
present continuous: am / is / are / telling
past continuous: was / were telling
future continuous: will be telling
present perfect: has / have told
past perfect: had told
future perfect: will have told
present perfect continuous: has / have been telling
past perfect continuous: had been telling
future perfect continuous: (difficult to use)
modal verbs: ______ tell
past tense modal: ______ have told
infinitive: to tell
gerund: telling
passive: yes
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Next: Lesson Sixteen