Basic+ Word of the Day: say

say (verb) past tense: said LISTEN

"Can you say that again?"

If you say something, it means that you communicate a message to someone by speaking.

  • He says that he’ll be here soon.

We can also use say to talk about the words or message in a text.

  • All the newspapers are saying that it’ll be very cold next week.

Or we can use it to talk about a message in something that doesn’t use words, for example a painting.

  • What do you think the artist is trying to say?

Common uses

When someone asks us a question, and we want to tell them that we don’t know the answer, we sometimes say, “Hard to say” or “It’s hard to say.” For example: “How much do you think it will cost?” “Hard to say. But I don’t think it’ll be cheap.”

In pop culture

Do you know the song “Hello, Goodbye” by the Beatles? It’s about the end of a relationship. One person wants it to end, and the other person wants it to continue. Listen for these words: “You say goodbye, and I say hello. Hello, hello. I don’t know why you say goodbye. I say hello.”

There are other meanings of say.

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Word of the Day is released Monday through Friday.

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