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Hi!

In : You couldn't see any of the bits or anything (referring to someone who poses naked for calendars, etc...) , the underlined part means any part of someone's body?

Why in: "...so it's almost impossible to tell she's standing there in the buff." , the writer uses the verb to tell and not to say? (I always heard that we use the verb to tell when the person for whom we are speaking appears afterwards). And "...she's standing there in the buff", means that she's there, totally naked , isn't it?

Thanks,

Gladys
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Hi,

In : You couldn't see any of the bits or anything (referring to someone who poses naked for calendars, etc...) , the underlined part means any part of someone's body? It's a short form of the humorous phrase 'the naughty bits'. Emotion: smile

Why in: "...so it's almost impossible to tell she's standing there in the buff." , the writer uses the verb to tell and not to say? (I always heard that we use the verb to tell when the person for whom we are speaking appears afterwards). One of the meanings of 'tell' is 'decide / determine / distinguish'. eg You can see someone but you can't see their face. You say, or think, 'I can't tell if that is Tom'.

And "...she's standing there in the buff", means that she's there, totally naked , isn't it? Yes.

Best wishes, Clive
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There are quite a few idioms where tell is not used exactly the same as in to tell someone something.

The following are usually negative and usually followed by an indirect question or a that clause. These mean that something is not obvious or easily seen by the subject of the sentence.

can't tell / not be able to tell / impossible to tell (if ..., whether ..., how many ..., which ..., where ..., when ..., that ...)

I can't tell what it says on that sign. I must need new glasses.
Judy was unable to tell where the dress had been torn and repaired.
No one could tell that the violinist made a mistake.

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Note the idiom not be able to tell the difference.

Sherry said that she had put too much salt in the stew, but I'm sure that nobody else could tell the difference.
_________

The affirmative form can tell means that something is obvious, easily seen.

I can tell that you've passed the exam. You look very happy.
You can tell when the dog is hungry. He lies by his dish and looks up hopefully every time anyone passes by.
I could tell that Jake was nervous when he gave his speech.


CJ
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Thank you very much.

Best wishes,

Gladys
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