Said vs Told
The pair of words said and told do not pose problems for those whose mother tongue is English but if you ask those whose native language is not English then they will tell you how confused they remain when having to choose between these two words as they have difficulty in understanding the difference between said and told. Both said and told have similar meanings but are used in different contexts. Here, is a brief explanation of this pair of words, as well as, the difference between said and told. Therefore, pay attention if you want to use said and told accurately in the future. The most basic difference between said and told would be that you tell information, but you say words.
What does Said mean?
As mentioned in the introduction, you say words. Look at the following sentences.
Jane told Harry her name.
Harry said, “I am sorry, I did not hear what you said.”
Here, you can see how said and told are used in sentences. Told gives out information while said is used to say someone spilled some words.
However, while told cannot be used without an object in a sentence, said can be used without an object. Take a look at the following example.
I said that I was new to the town.
There are two ways of making use of said in a sentence. It can be used to provide a direct or an indirect quote of what someone says. Take a look at these two variations of the same sentence.
John said, “I don’t like milk.”
John said that he didn’t like milk.
The only difference between these two sentences is that in the second indirect speech is used.
Therefore, said is used as a verb to tell the readers that someone is saying something. It can be used for statements, exclamations, or even questions.
What does Told mean?
Told is used to tell information. Moreover, told is a transitive verb and always needs an object. You are committing a mistake if you try to use this word without an object.
I told the old man that I am new to the town.
It is clear from the example that the old man is the object in the sentence. Take out old man from the sentence and it becomes grammatically incorrect.
Told is also used to connote a demand or an order. It is also used to tell the reader that the speaker is providing information.
The teacher told the class that she expected all of them to be ready for assessment next day.
Tom told the police officer that he did not know the whereabouts of his neighbor’s dog.
What is the difference between Said and Told?
• Told and said are words having similar meanings with different usages.
• They are used in different contexts also.
• Told is a transitive verb that needs an object in the sentence. However, said can be used without an object.
• Said can be used with exclamation marks.