is the standard verb which is used to indicate direct speech in
any narrative - anecdotes, short stories, novels, etc. It is often
used with other 'reporting' verbs, which may be more descriptive
or more colourful than the all-purpose say and therefore
do you think?" asked Mary, holding up the wedding dress.
it looks lovely," they all chorused.
smells a bit musty," ventured William after a moment's
because it's been shut up in this wardrobe for the last twenty
years," replied Jo.
sure it'll be all right," said Vanessa encouragingly.
is also used to introduce indirect speech with a that clause.
In the examples that follow, please note:
the conjuction that is usually not used, unless it is needed
to emphasise what is being reported
say cannot be followed by a direct personal object
as with the direct speech examples above, other reporting verbs
may be preferred
said (that) she was going out. (Not: She said me…)And she
admitted (that) she might be late back.
said/mentioned (that) Carlos had behaved very strangely
when they were in Rio.
said/insisted (that) he had been driving very slowly
when the accident happened.