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I was so happy I felt tears starting in my eyes, and then she up and hugged me. I think she could tell.

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closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, Mitch, MετάEd, TrevorD, Mari-Lou A Aug 21 '13 at 4:22

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – FumbleFingers, Mitch, MετάEd, TrevorD, Mari-Lou A
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I think this is Off Topic General Reference. From the first online dictionary I looked at - tell : to find out by observing, recognize <you can tell it's a masterpiece> – FumbleFingers Aug 19 '13 at 13:22
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Tell is frequently used with the meaning of realize or understand, so the sentence you quote can be read as

"As I was close to tears, and she realized it, she came near me and hugged me"

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