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Lesson Transcript

Hi, everybody. Welcome back to Top Words. My name is Alisha and today, we're going to talk about 10 Ways to Report Speech. Let's go.
"Say." The first word is "say," "say" as a verb. "Say" is a very neutral word you can use to report someone's speech, to explain something someone said in the past. So, for example, "He said the barbecue was cancelled," which is a simple neutral report.
"Tell." The next verb is "tell." "Tell" is used when one person is giving information to another. To tell someone something they did not know before. Don't say, "Tell me your phone number." That's weird. But like, "Can you tell me where the station is?" "Can you tell me where to buy a hamburger?" "Can you tell me where to pick up my new car?" So, giving someone information they don't know, or on the other hand, explaining something, one way to another person. "Don't tell me what I can't do," is a very good "Lost" reference if you've ever watched "Lost." So, "tell." Another example sentence, "My boss told me I was doing a good job."
"Speak." The next one is "speak." So, we use "speak" when we're talking about language ability like, "I speak English." "I speak Japanese." We can use "speak" in the past tense to report something but it usually sounds a little more formal. So, like, "I spoke to my boss about," or "I spoke to my parents about," or "I spoke to my boyfriend or girlfriend about," blah, blah, blah. Using "speak" instead of "talked" makes it sound a little bit more formal. So, you can use "speak" but it's going to sound polite. In a sentence, "My colleagues spoke with me about an upcoming project."
"Was like." Okay, the next one, the next two actually are very, very casual expressions. So, when you're speaking with friends and you're kind of talking about a quick maybe somewhat emotional conversation, you will hear native speakers especially Americans, perhaps this is unique somewhat to Americans, use the phrase "was like." "I was like," "He was like," "She was like." This is a very casual way to report speech. And you'll hear it often very, very quickly together. So, someone will say, "I was like, 'What?' And then, she was like, ‘No.' And then I was like, 'Yeah.'" That's the kind of pattern. You'll hear it in very, very quick ways to report speech but the subject changes. "I was like," "He was like," "She was like," "We were like." This is a way to share what happens quickly. Instead of "I said," "He said," "She said," which might sound a little too formal, we can use "I was like," "He was like," to do that instead. So, this is a really fun one. And, if you can use this naturally, I think that it'll really help you sound more natural, too. So, in a sentence, "And then he was like, 'I love that movie.'"
"Was all." The next one is also similar to "was like." We have the expression, "was all." So, "was all," don't worry about "all." "All" does not have the meaning of the whole of something or a complete something, instead, "was all," this set phrase is used to report speech. Usually, this one is used when there's some kind of emotional aspect to your conversation or it's a little dramatic or maybe a little exciting. We use it the same way as "was like," in that very, very quick style of speaking. "And then, he was like, and I was all, and then she was like and I was all." We use those together but "I was all" has a little more emphasis. I feel I tend to use it when I want to express a stronger emotion. "And I was all, 'No way.'" or "And I was all, 'What?'" So, you can use it for those very surprised emotions or maybe angry emotions. "Was like" and "was all" are both used in very casual situations. So, in a sentence, "And I was all, 'Oh my God, me too.'"
"Talk." The next word is "talk." So, "talk," similar to "say," is a fairly neutral verb when reporting speech. You'll use it in a situation where someone is giving new information to you but maybe it's a two-way conversation. So, for example, "We talked about, blah, blah, blah," for a topic or, "My boss talked to me about blah, blah, blah." So, maybe new information is being exchanged but the conversation is two-way. There are multiple participants. With "tell," it's like the nuance is sort of one person is reporting information, giving information. With "talk," there's an exchange happening there. So, keep in mind, when you use the word, "talk," you will say either, "I talked to" or "I talked with" someone and then you'll usually have a topic. So, "I talked to my friend about blah, blah, blah." "I talked to my friend about my new apartment." "I talked to my boss about a raise." "I talked to my dog about--what dogs do." So, there's some kind of exchange happening there. You'll need to use to or with when you're referring to the person or entity you're talking to, and you'll use "about" to refer to the subject. So, you can use this one--yeah, when you want to discuss exchanges of information. So, in a sentence, "She talked to me about my family."
"Mention." Let's go to the next one. The next one is "mention." "Mention" is used when like something is just--there's just one small point in a conversation, just a little side note. Maybe it's not the focus of a conversation but just something someone says quickly or there's just a little thing that you hear. "Oh, you mentioned something about blah, blah, blah." or "You mentioned that a new project…" It's maybe not the focus of the conversation but something that you heard a little bit about. That's when we use the verb, "mention." We can also use it in a statement like, "Please mention any skills you have on the resume." The nuance is sort of like just a little bit of information is when we use "mention." So, in a sentence, "Our manager mentioned upcoming changes at the company."
"To go on and on." Okay, the next expression is "to go on and on." So, to go on and on means just to talk for a very long time. So, maybe you have a co-worker or a friend or a family member that just talks and does not stop talking. We say, "To go on and on." That's the expression we use. So, in a sentence, "The speaker at the seminar was going on and on about the topic." If you really want to emphasize it, you can say, "It was going on and on and on." That really emphasizes that the person continues to speak. So, if you know somebody who does that a lot, you can use this expression to talk about them.
"According to." The next expression here is "according to." "According to" is used actually in the news or like to officially report something. So, "according to sources," or "according to the police," "according to the government official," "according to my teacher," "according to my mother," these are like direct reports of information and they're direct reports of information from a specific source. "According to the newspaper, my neighborhood has 50,000 amazing ramen shops." That's not true. But if I want to instead of just saying, "My neighborhood has 50,000 amazing ramen shops," I'm giving a source for that. So, "according to my newspaper." This is where I got the information. So, this is important to use in news and newspapers and any kind of official documentation. You will see and hear, "according to" in these cases. In a sentence, "According to a witness at the scene, the suspect escaped."
"Report." Great. So, the next one is "report." So, "report" is similar to "according to." We use "report" in more official situations. So, to officially share information, like to "report to the police," "to report to your teacher," "to report to your boss." Sometimes it means to submit documentation, like to give someone a written report. Sometimes it's to share information officially, just with your voice, to report news or to report an update. So, when you want to give official information, we'll use the verb, "report." So, in a sentence, "Sources in the area report that the accident was not serious." Thank goodness.
Alright. Okay. Ah, that's the end. That is the end. So, those are 10 words and 10 phrases that you can use to talk about talking, to talk about speech. So, I hope that these are useful for you and I hope that this helps clear up a few things about the difference between "say" and "tell" and "speak" and so on. But if you have any questions, please let us know in the comments. If you liked this video, please be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel if you haven't already. Check us out at EnglishClass101.com for more good stuff, too. Thanks very much for watching this episode of Top Words and we'll see you again soon. Bye.