Should I certainly use pronouns like me ,you, him, her etc. with the word tell? Which sentence is correct?

  1. Will you tell us/me about your hobbies, please?
  2. Will you tell about your hobbies, please?

As a verb expressing communication, "tell" almost always requires both the direct object of what is being communicated and the indirect object of the person being communicated with. "Tell me about your hobbies" is the standard form.

  • Thanks! But you said "almost always". Are there any cases when the verb doesn't require direct object? – Valentina Feb 7 '11 at 21:34
  • As Robusto points out in his answer, the most common case is when you've already supplied the direct object in a previous sentence, as in "What are you planning to do with that? Come on, you can tell me!" – Hellion Feb 7 '11 at 21:55
  • 2
    @Valentina - An obvious example missing the direct object would be if someone said I have great news. You could respond with Tell me!, leaving the DO implied. I can't come up with an imperative example that excludes the IO that wouldn't sound better with it, but it's fairly common in the declarative: "Those guys tell great tales" – Dusty Feb 7 '11 at 21:57

Depending on the group, it would be correct to use a pronoun.

Tell me about your hobbies, please.

This works if you are the only other person in the room.

Tell us about your hobbies, please.

This works if there are others present.

Tell about your hobbies, please.

This is awkward conversationally, but could conceivably be used in a larger context:

What do you like to do? Tell us something about your interests. Tell about your hobbies, for example.

In the third sentence, the pronoun would be omitted but implied. I doubt you are interested in this kind of subtle distinction, however, and advise you simply to use the pronoun after tell.

  • Ok, thank you! It'll be difficult to change that in my unprepared speech because I got used to say that incorrectly but I'll try! :( – Valentina Feb 7 '11 at 21:41

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