"I have spoken" literally is ho parlato. But if using dire to express that thought, would it require the invisible pronoun: Basta! Lo ho detto! "Enough! I have said it!"
If not, isn't it redundant in Italian to add anything to Basta! when you intend it to mean "Enough - I have spoken"? Isn't that what Basta! by itself means - not just "enough", but "enough - and that's the end of it; I have spoken (the final word) here."
It's very different if you interpret the phrase as " 'enough', I said".
With "say", the object of the sentence (the thing the verb is directly acting on) is the words themselves; with "tell", it is the person you're directing them to. So: I say something (Dico qualcosa, digo algo) But: I tell Alexander something (Dico qualcosa a Alexander, digo algo a Alexander) ("I say something to Alexander" would be OK for that second one too).
andrewduo's grammar analysis is wrong. Sorry to be so blunt, but it is. The question is not easy to answer, so my response is fairly long. But thorough.
In both "say" and "tell", the words or a summary of the words are spoke to the person being addressed. The words are direct objects, the persons spoken to are indirect objects. The verbs simply have different forms when used in sentences which can be manipulated to report a summary of words or to reported the exact words.
One of the differences is that the usage of "to say" makes it easier to deliver exact words through quotes, while "to tell" makes it easier to deliver a summary of what was spoken. Examples:
I said, "I cannot go with you".
I told her I could not go.
But if you add the word "that", then you can reverse the direct objects:
I said to her that I could not go.
I told her, "I cannot go with you.
Also, with "to tell", you can (and usually should) elide the "to" before the indirect object, while it is necessary with "to say".
I said, "no" to her. I told her, "no".
With "to tell", it is almost always required that there be an indirect object - someone you tell something to, which probably explains why the "to" can easily be elided. Example: I told her no.
With "to say", the indirect object is optional, but when it is used, the "to..." is always required. For example: I said, "No". or I said, "No" to her. NEVER: I said, "No" her.
So, basically, if you want to report quoted words, use "to say" and use "to" if you mention the person your are speaking to. The "to [person(s)]" phrase comes after the verb and either before or after the quoted material.
It's usually a good idea to put "to..." before quoted material that is moderately long or longer, and after quoted material that is moderately short or shorter. There is a middle range of length where placement of the "to...." phrase must be judged simply on style and readability.
Often, it is clear from context who is being spoken to, and the "to..." part is completely elided. This last "rule" plays a big part in creative writing. If the words of a dialog are not important, it is often better to simply report a summary of what was said. Examples:
I said, "No" to her.
"Why not?", she asked.
"Because I simply cannot", I answered.
"But you promised...."
"I know, but I simply cannot get away."
I then told her that I had an important appointment that I had to keep. She told me that she was very disappointed.
"I don't know if I can ever trust you again!" she said.
It is typical that "to say" is used in dialogue far, far more often than other words used for reporting conversations. Told is used much more often in reporting summaries of content.
There are instances in using "to tell" where you place "to..." after what is told: "He told the story to her." This is similar to the Italian rule about tonic and clitic pronouns: Lui le dice la storia. Lui dice la storia a lei
One of the nice results of trying to help like this is that it clarifies my thinking about these issues.
I re-read my comment and found a couple small errors I corrected: I meant to say, "creative writing" not "create writing" . And it's "conversations" not "conservations".
Also, when I write something like this, I almost always copy it into a document, in case I need to retrieve it to post elsewhere or for my own reference. I also copy a lot of other people's helpful comments.
This is become especially important ever since Duo decided to get rid of personal pages. A whole host of comments just disappeared, so I'm glad I'd previously copies the ones which were helpful. I owe you a thanks for commenting here, because I forget to copy this particular comment and had no way of finding it, once Duo got rid of all my comments. So, now I can copy and past the corrected version into my own personal reference file. grazie
This lesson is passato prossimo (present perfect). For "dettare," the past participle is "dettato." "Detto" is passata remoto. I've read through all the comments below and found nothing to explain this. A bit of research indicates that passata remoto is used when referring to something that happened in the past (a year ago).
Will someone please help me understand this? :-)