Reporting verb is the verb which reports the speech.
- She said, „I am fine.“ (Reporting verb: said)
- He asked, „Can I have more of that cheese?“ (Reporting verb: asked)
- She says, „I am going.“ (Reporting verb: says)
Said is preferred when there is no object.
- He said that he was fine.
Tell/told is used when you say who is/was being spoken to.
- He told me that he was fine.
We use talk and speak when we are referring to the action of communicating.
- He talked to us.
- She was speaking on the telephone.