Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Say and Speak

Say vs Speak

Man communicates with each other through language. It is very complex, and there are thousands of languages that are spoken by man. Each culture and nationality has a distinct language and means of communication.
In order to understand each other, people study language and grammar. They must be able to learn about phrases and sentences, the correct usage of words, and how to effectively convey what they mean through words.
A word is the smallest unit of meaning, and it is used to make phrases and sentences. Verbs are words that convey action, and they are very important parts of a sentence. The words “say” and “speak” are verbs which convey the act of expressing one’s thoughts through uttering words.
“Say” is defined as the act of expressing through words either to express a supposition or to direct somebody to do something. It is synonymous to the words “speak, articulate, declare, remark,” and “tell.” While it is a verb, it can also be used as a noun in a sentence. If used as a noun, “say” could mean “opinion,” like in the sentence, “He always has the last say.”
“Speak,” on the other hand, is defined as the act of uttering words or talking. It may also mean the delivery of an address, lecture, or speech. “Speak” also means to convey a message through non-verbal means as in the sentence, “Actions speak louder than words.”
While “say” and “speak” can mean the same thing, they differ in their usage in a sentence. “Speak” is used in formal situations and in one-way communication as in the giving of a lecture or a message to a group of people. It is often used when one is talking about the language ability of a person.
“Say” is used in direct and indirect speech and usually does not have a personal object. In situations that it does, the word “to” is also used with it. It is always used before a word, name, or sentence and when it is not mentioned who is being told.

What did you say?
Please listen to me when I speak to you.
She said she will be back soon.
He speaks fluent French.
I did say that I will come home early, but I have to listen to Dr. Roa speak about bacteria and diseases.


1.“Say” is a verb, but it can also be used as a noun while “speak” is used only as a verb.
2.“Say” means “to express thoughts through words” while “speak” means “the act of talking or uttering something.”
3.“Say” is used in direct and indirect speech while “speak” is used in formal situations.
4.When using “say,” it is not specified who is being told while when using “speak,” it is specified.
5.“Speak” is used when the language ability of a person is being talked about while “say” is often used before names and other names being used in the sentence.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the great article.

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