Say vs Speak: Difference and Comparison

A word, which is used to build phrases and sentences, is the most basic constituent of sense. Verbs are vital aspects of a statement because they convey activity.

The verbs “say” and “talk” refers to the act of conveying one’s views through the use of language. While the two words have the same meaning, they are used differently in sentences.

Even though they seem similar, these words have some points of difference between them.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Say” focuses on the words themselves, while “speak” emphasizes the act of talking and the language used.
  2. “Say” requires a direct or indirect object, whereas “speak” can be used without one.
  3. “Speak” is more formal than “say” and is used in professional or public speaking contexts.

Say vs Speak

The difference between say and speak is that say it is described as the act of conveying anything with words, whether it is a hypothesis or a command. On the other hand, the act of expressing words or conversing is described as speaking. It could also refer to the delivery of a lecture, address, or speech. The former can also be used as a noun, while the latter can only be used as a verb.

Say vs Speak

Saying something is described as the act of communicating something through words, either to state a hypothesis or to direct someone to do something.

The terms “talk, express, announce, comment,” and “tell” are synonyms. It can be used as both a verb and a noun in a sentence.

“Say” can also signify “opinion” when used as a noun, as in the statement “, He always has to have a say in everything.”

On the other hand, the act of expressing words or conversing is characterized as “speak.”

It could also refer to the delivery of a lecture, address, or speech. Speak can also refer to conveying a message through nonverbal means.

It can not be used as a noun and is only used as a verb.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonSaySpeak
Verb or NounIt is a verb that can also be used as a noun.It is a verb that can not be used as a noun and is only used as a verb.
MeaningIt is conveying insights by the use of words or syllables.It is the act of speaking or expressing something.
Use in speechIt is used in both directions as well as indirect speech.It is used in formal situations.
Target personIt is not specified here who is being told.The person being told here is specified.
Use otherwiseWhen a person’s linguistic capacity is discussed, this word is employed.It is frequently used before names and other names in a sentence.

What is Say?

Saying a word is the same as speaking it. Thus you’re saying it every time you pronounce it.

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It’s also a method of saying if you write a newspaper editorial regarding dogs. “Animals should be adored,” you could be quoted as saying. You can also communicate with your demeanour.

Like other common words, Say has a long history, deriving from the Old English term “to tell.”

To have your say implies being allowed to express your thoughts on a topic.

Saying something is described as the act of communicating something through words, either to state a hypothesis or to direct someone to do something.

The terms “talk, express, announce, comment,” and “tell” are synonyms. It can be used as both a verb and a noun in a sentence.

“Say” can also signify “opinion” when used as a noun, as in the statement, “He always has to have a say in everything.”

It is used in both directions as well as indirect speech. It is not specified here who is being told.

When a person’s linguistic capacity is discussed, this word is employed. It is a verb that can also be used as a noun.

It conveys insights through the use of words or syllables.

say

What is Speak?

This is the act of expressing thoughts or insights through words. It also involves conversing or interacting with someone.

It could also refer to the delivery of a lecture, address, or speech. Speak can also refer to conveying a message through nonverbal means.

It can not be used as a noun and is only used as a verb. The act of communicating is the act of speaking.

You can talk to a friend about something personal or express your ideas on the latest dinosaur finds at a palaeontology enthusiasts’ convention.

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If you speak Portuguese or Punjabi, you can converse in those languages; if you speak for yourself, you can express your thoughts.

Thus we can see how the same word speak means different when used in different contexts.

In formal contexts and one-way interaction, such as providing a lecture or a speech to a community of individuals, “speak” is utilized. It is frequently used when discussing a person’s language abilities.

The person being told here is specified. It is frequently used before names and other names in a sentence.

Its past tense is ‘spoke.’ The meaning of the word speak changes with the use of different prepositions following it.

Therefore, the phrases speak with and speak to mean two very different things.

speak

Main Differences Between Say and Speak

  1. The word Say is a verb that can also be used as a noun, while the word speak is a verb that can not be used as a noun and is only used as a verb.
  2. Say is conveying insights by the use of words or syllables, whereas the act of speaking or expressing something is referred to by the word speak.
  3. Say is used in both directions as well as indirect speech. Speak, on the other hand, is used in formal situations.
  4. The word says is not specified here who is being told, unlike the word speak where the person being told here is specified.
  5. When a person’s linguistic capacity is discussed, the word say is employed. The word speak is frequently used before names and other names in a sentence.
Difference Between Say and Speak
References
  1. https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/anoc.12081
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/820510

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Say vs Speak: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I am glad someone finally clarified the difference between say and speak in a professional manner, it was very enjoyable to read.

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