Say it right!

Tips

#70

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When do we know we’re using explain and repeat right? When speaking, is it correct to say repeat me or repeat it to me?  What about explain me or explain it to me? In this tip, you will know the clear difference between the phrases, so that you learn to say it right!

Use 1: You repeat or explain SOMETHING.
Examples:
  • She explained the new process.
  • I will repeat the listening exercise only once.
  • I liked how Mr. Jones explained the topic.
Use 2: You repeat or explain something TO SOMEONE.
Examples:
  • Please explain the directions to her.
  • I’m sorry. Could you repeat the question to me?
  • You will repeat your presentation to everyone tomorrow.

Good to know!

Other words like: show, teach, follow, touch promise, love, make, etc. may be used with SOMEONE or SOMETHING.

Examples:

  • Follow the directions carefully.
  • I can teach you if you have time.
  • Remember to always show your work.
  • Promise me you will call once a week.
  • Please don’t touch the exhibit.

EXERCISE

DIRECTIONS: Choose the correct answer to complete the sentence.

Example:

Brian will teach English _____________.
a. to them b. them

DIRECTIONS: Choose the correct answer to complete the sentence.

*Note: A misspelled word counts as incorrect.

ANSWER KEY

  1. The baby repeats every word her parents say.
  1. Can you explain to us how to get to the subway?
  1. Could you repeat the sentences slower, please?
  1. Kevin can show you how to pronounce the word correctly.
  1. Karla teaches lots of vocabulary to the class.

KEEP IN MIND!

It’s correct to tell someone, not tell to someone.

Examples:

  • Did you tell her about the surprise birthday party?
  • Martha and Jake told me about their vacation.
  • Tell everyone how your presentation went.

 

ALSO, it is correct to say something, not say someone.

Examples:

  • The director said ‘thank you’ to everyone at the party.
  • Your friends said good things about you.
  • Excuse me. What did you say?”