When using direct discourse (narration), can I use "tell" before quotation marks? Today I used it in English composition and my teacher said to me, "You should use 'say to somebody' before quotation marks and you cannot use 'tell somebody'. It is only used in indirect discourse." I think "tell" is right and other verbs are to be accepted in direct discourse but I'm not sure.
I wrote: (When I see my pet dog coming to me with his tongue stuck out) I always want to tell him, "Hey, my best friend, you're so pleased, aren't you?" My teacher corrected: I always want to say to him,